Polis: Colorado met February goal, vaccinated 70% of people 70+


DENVER — Colorado met its goal of vaccinating 70% of people over the age of 70 against the coronavirus by March, Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday.

Polis said 397,531 people over 70 were vaccinated by the end of February. That’s 70.7% of the state’s over-70 population, according to Polis.

Polis encouraged anyone in this age group who has not gotten a vaccine to sign up for an appointment. He said providers will still prioritize people over 70, even as they open vaccine appointments to other groups.

To find a vaccine appointment near you, visit covid19.colorado.gov or call the state’s vaccine hotline at 1-877-CO-VAX-CO (1-877-268-2926).

On Monday, the state health department announced it expects to get 45,500 doses of the newly-approved one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the end of the week.

Polis said the state is asking providers to be transparent during the signup process about which of the three vaccines will be offered at each clinic.

“It will be visible to consumers which one you are getting at which clinic,” Polis said. “It should be already, and it will be even more going forward, because we want to make sure all of our partners make that visible.”

Polis said because sites generally only offer one vaccine at a time, people will not be able to make an appointment and then choose the vaccine they want. However, those who prefer a certain vaccine can choose an appointment time and location that suits them best.

“Yes, you can absolutely look at which one is available at which site,” Polis said. “If for some reason you want a different one, you can set up a different time and a different place.”

However, Polis said, all three approved vaccines are safe and effective.

“So you see different numbers, does it prevent infection, or whatever it is,” Polis said. “Nobody wants to get infected, but what you really want to do is not die and not get severely sick or intubated. They’re all very close to 100% effective at accomplishing that.”

Polis said nearly a million Coloradans have received the first dose of the vaccine. That’s more than 20% of the state’s over-18 population, according to Polis.

Last Friday, Polis announced changes to the state’s vaccine priority phases. The next phase, which includes agricultural processing workers, grocery workers, people ages 60 and older, and people ages 16-59 with two or more high-risk conditions, will start March 5.

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