DENVER, Colorado — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has announced where it will allocate the first shipments of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government.
Allocations were based upon the population in each state and the quantity of ready-to-ship doses from the manufacturer. Colorado will receive 46,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and expects to receive 95,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
At a virtual news conference Friday, Governor Jared Polis urged the public to remain vigilant even as this good news arrives.
"When you are fortunate enough to be able to get the vaccine, you don't have immunity a day later, even a week later, right," Polis explained.
"You get the first dose of the vaccine, then 20 to 25 days later, the second dose. And then, within two weeks of that, or 10 days of that, is when you develop the immunity."
Colorado's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan will be implemented in three phases, giving priority to the highest-risk healthcare workers and staff at long-term care facilities.
CDPHE identified locations across the state with ultra-low temperature freezers to receive the first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. These locations were chosen for their unique abilities to store, monitor, and handle vaccines in ultra-cold temperatures (-60°C to -80°C), as well as their willingness to redistribute COVID-19 vaccines to other providers in their regions.
The department purchased 10 ultra-cold storage units and has distributed 8 of them to facilities around the state. The remaining two will be distributed today.
Approximately 7,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are slated to be shipped to hospitals in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Canon City, and Lamar. Randy Evetts, Pueblo County's Public Health Director told reporters every facility that receives the vaccine will need keep track of the inventory to make sure it's not wasted.
"The state will be monitoring that closely, as will we," Evetts said. "We will be checking daily and probably multiple times a day to get inventory."
Community transmission of COVID-19 remains high in our state. Governor Polis tempered expectations about the holidays cautioning those most at risk for complications from the virus to not to together for Christmas and other religious observances.
"You're almost there and, you sort of find that inner reservoir of strength to find a way to get through this holiday season so that you can enjoy many more holiday seasons."
The following table lists the quantity of each vaccine to be distributed to health care providers throughout the state.