COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The staff at Matthew-Vu Medical Group in Colorado Springs will hold a public COVID vaccine clinic on Saturday, January 23. The doctor's office is one of six local health care providers who've partnered with El Paso County Public Health to administer the vaccines.
Volunteers from the El Paso County Medical Reserve Corps have helped the staff here to give shots to patients who qualify under the state's priority listing as either Group 1A or 1B.
"Our motto, or our goal is to get it into folks as fast as possible," said Matthews-Vu Chief Operating Officer Paul Novotny.
While you must be over age 70 to qualify as a Group 1B participant, you don't need to be a regular patient to receive the vaccine.
Lisa Powell, El Paso County Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Program Manager, explained during a virtual news conference Friday that the county opted to work with partner health care providers to distribute the vaccine.
"It's not a requirement to be a patient at any of those entities, they are taking all individuals who are calling or connecting through their portals," she said.
While vaccine appointments are not limited to regular patients, Novotny has noticed more efficiencies when it comes to vaccinating that population.
"Folks that are coming in for their annual wellness or check-up, a diabetes check-up or things like that, we're offering the vaccine to them and we're doing that in clinic, day-to-day."
Supplies of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are limited. Additionally, the shots must be administered during a brief window of time after they are thawed.
To avoid spoiling any vaccine, Novotny said they have created waiting lists and had several patients who've agreed to be on stand-by for any last-minute cancellations.
"We give those folks a quick call and say, hey we've got some material for you, can you be here in 15 minutes, and almost every one of them, I think probably every one of them drops what they're doing and they come in," he said.
The practice is holding the Saturday clinic to let more people in the community know that they can receive the COVID vaccinations here.
The other health care providers who have partnered with El Paso County include UCHealth, Centura Health, Peak Vista, Kaiser Permanent, and Optum and Peak View Medical Group.