Pueblo opens sign up for largest phase of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution


FILE – In this Jan. 5, 2021, file photo, healthcare worker receives a second Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shot at Beaumont Health in Southfield, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

PUEBLO, Colo. — Organizers of Pueblo’s COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Clinic at the Pueblo Mall will begin the sign-up process Friday for what is expected to be the largest group of community members eligible for the vaccine to date.

As of 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, any Pueblo County resident age 60-and-older, those 16-and-older with at least two high-risk health conditions, and grocery/agriculture workers can sign-up Friday to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Those with internet access can visit pueblovaxnow.com and anyone without internet or who need assistance signing up, can call (719) 583-4444 and press option 1, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sign-up is open to anyone who meets the new criteria as well as anyone eligible in the previous phases.

Last week, Governor Jared Polis announced the state would be opening vaccinations for anyone who meets the criteria of the Phase 1B.3 beginning Friday, March 5. The 1B.3 phase includes anyone age 60 and older, agriculture and grocery workers and anyone age 16-to-59 with two or more high-risk health conditions.

Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor commended the work that has been done by clinic planners, volunteers and first responder agencies for their efforts in getting thousands in the community already vaccinated. “We have done a great job the past couple months vaccinating all those who are eligible and have wanted this vaccine,” Taylor said. “Now, we are ready to move on to vaccinating the next eligible group, which is going to be a very large part of our community. We encourage everyone who is eligible under this phase to get the vaccine, so we stay on pace to getting our community back on track.”

“We are excited to open up and provide vaccine to more individuals in our community,” said Randy Evetts, public health director for the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. “This is going to be a very large segment of our population and we want to remind everyone to be patient as we work to register and vaccinate this group.”  Evetts expects the high-risk conditions population in Pueblo to amount to tens of thousands of individuals.

High-risk health conditions defined by the state include cancer (defined as patients who are currently receiving treatment or have received treatment within he last month for cancer), chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes mellitus (Types 1 and 2), Down syndrome, specific heart conditions (heart failure, cardiomyopathies or coronary heart disease and severe valvular/congenital heart disease), obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, solid organ transplant, individuals with disabilities who require direct care in their home and people with disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks.

Colorado’s intent of the classification for frontline essential workers, is to prioritize current workers who cannot maintain physical distance from others at their place of employment, who work in close contact with many people, especially indoors, and in places with poor ventilation including meatpacking workers; grocery store workers; and agricultural processing workers.

Evetts also reminds the community the pace of administering vaccinations is dependent on availability of vaccine coming from the state. “We will plan and orchestrate clinics based on when and how much vaccine we receive. Our goal has been, and will continue to be, that as soon as we get vaccine to get it into the arms of people as quickly as possible.”

Below is a complete list of individuals who are currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

Pueblo has Worked through Phases 1A, 1B.1, 1B.2 (second doses on-going)

  • Highest risk health care workers – People who have direct contact with COVID-19 patients 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period
  • Long-term care facility staff and residents
  • 65 years old and older, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions
  • Health care workers – home health, hospice, pharmacy, dental, etc. and EMS
  • First responders
  • Pre-K through 12th grade educators and school safety/support staff
  • Licensed childcare workers
  • Select members of the judicial and executive branches of government

Pueblo begins Phase 1B.3 on March 8th, (in no particular order)

  • People age 60-and-older
  • Frontline essential workers in grocery and agriculture
  • Pueblo 16-59 with two or more high-risk conditions

To date in Pueblo County 29,818 first doses and 20,006 second doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.

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