NewsCovering Colorado


Surge needed to reach 75% vaccinated in Southern Colorado by July

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-05 12:38:00-04

EL PASO COUNTY — There is one month remaining to achieve the goal of 75% of eligible people in Colorado with at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. It was set by Governor Jared Polis earlier in the year when vaccinations started.

Both El Paso and Pueblo counties are basically two-thirds of the way there. "It is remarkable that more than 50 percent of El Paso County has been vaccinated," said Fadi Youkhana who tracks COVID-19 data for El Paso County Public Health. Remember, however, the current number was compiled over nearly six months and there is only one month remaining to reach the 75 percent goal.

To reach 75 percent, Pueblo County needs nearly 30,000 more people vaccinated. El Paso County with its larger population needs just over 165,000 more people vaccinated.

"We're now down to sort of the ground game of bringing vaccines to everyone and also making it relevant to people who are thinking vaccines don't apply to me," said El Paso County Public Health Data Specialist, Stephen Goodwin. The gap of those who are not vaccinated is largely among people in the age range of 20 to 39. Locals over 70, topped 75% of their age group vaccinated, months back.

Despite waitlists going away, an abundance of doses, and many location options to get vaccinated, the rate of young people getting vaccinated is much slower. Local health leaders say many younger people think less risk at their age means no risk. "Even if you are a young person you can have lasting effects. Trouble breathing, brain fog, fatigue afterward that can last for a substantial amount of time," said El Paso County Public Health, Immunization Program Manager, Kristi Durbin.

There are no longer wait lists. Vaccine doses are plentiful. Options for places to get vaccinated are now extensive. Despite all the availability of vaccines, it is still going to take a push to reach 75% by July.