COLORADO SPRINGS — Gov. Jared Polis is providing an update on the state's response to COVID-19 on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
He said as of right now, just under half a million Coloradans have received their first dose of the vaccine. He mentioned that Colorado is halfway towards its goal of 70-percent of those ages 70 and older being vaccinated by the end of February. Over 200,000 people in that age range have received their first dose so far.
Governor Polis reiterated that starting February 8, those 65 and older can begin to sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Educators will also be eligible for vaccinations beginning next Monday. They are asked to work with districts to get a provider to ensure vaccine distribution and a safe return back to school. Teachers will also be allocated one million COVID tests, so they are able to test themselves every five days.
Governor Polis spoke on his conversation with the White House Task Force, saying the Federal Government is now going to give Colorado an additional 5,000 to 10,000 vaccines to be distributed to pharmacies across the state. The governor estimates an additional 50 pharmacies will get the direct shipment.
The governor said the Federal Government also announced today in a meeting that they will be matching 100-percent of retroactive FEMA funds.
"We will have additional resources to support testing, vaccinations, and PPE," said Gov. Polis.
Another vaccination event by SCL Health is scheduled for this weekend; they are estimated to distribute 5,000 vaccinations. This comes after UCHEalth vaccinated 10,000 Coloradans at Coors Field this past weekend.
While Gov. Polis is excited about the increase in vaccinations and distribution, he says the pandemic is still here.
"Over 8-percent of Coloradans have been vaccinated with the first dose, and just around 2-percent have received the second dose," said Governor Polis.
Colorado is launching the "Do Colorado Right Campaign" to encourage safe travel for those in and out of state. This is to urge those traveling for the upcoming holidays and spring break to remain socially distant, wear a mask, and sanitize or wash their hands often. Some familiar Colorado faces supporting the campaign include Olympic gold medalist Red Gerard and former Bachelor Ben Higgens.
This follows his press conference from Friday, January 29, where he announced the expansion of vaccine distribution in Colorado to include educators and people 65 and older.
Polis anticipates it will take two to three weeks to vaccinate educators or anyone in the classroom with children. He said the instructions for teachers to obtain vaccinations will come from their school district or campus. This phase of distribution will begin as early as February 8.