Gov. Polis visits southern Colorado vaccine sites, extends mask mandate but level green counties can opt-out

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PUEBLO, Colo. — Gov. Jared Polis visited two vaccine sites in southern Colorado Friday as eligibility expands to all Coloradans over age 16.

The governor started his tour at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Avondale, where he kicked off the state’s mobile COVID vaccine clinic program. The state’s four mobile vaccine clinics are delivering the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to medically underserved areas.

The governor then visited a community vaccination site at the Colorado State Fairgrounds. It’s one of six large state-run vaccination clinics in Colorado.

The vaccination site is a drive-thru and will be providing 7,000 vaccines per week. All vaccines are free with no copay.

“I was excited to see the State Community Vaccination Site at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in action, putting shots into arms and providing much-needed protection,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This site in Pueblo is one of six State Community Vaccination Sites that will play a pivotal part in delivering this life saving vaccine to everyone 16 and older. I encourage all Coloradans to sign up to get the vaccine when an appointment is available and help end this pandemic.”

The drive-thru clinic will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Monday.  Individuals who are eligible to receive the vaccine can register here. Starting today, Friday, April 2, all Coloradans 16 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine. 

“We are proud to partner with Gov. Polis to provide this vaccine to all in our communities who need it, including those who have been historically underserved,” said Dr. Ozzie Grenardo, Senior Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Centura Health. “As a family medicine physician, it is gratifying to see thousands of my fellow Coloradans receive critical protection from this virus.”

Polis’ visit comes on the same day the state opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all Coloradans over age 16.

Governor Jared Polis launched Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics that will run routes in all four corners of the state, reaching medically underserved Coloradans in their own communities. The Governor kicked off the tours in Avondale and Eaton, just outside of Pueblo and Greeley respectively. 

“From day one we have focused on a rapid and equitable distribution process of the lifesaving vaccine while working to save the most lives, and that’s what these clinics are all about. No matter who you are or where you live, we want to ensure that you’ll be able to get a vaccine if you want one,” said Governor Jared Polis. “These buses are an important piece of our larger strategy, and will complement our other vaccine distribution efforts, such as our six community vaccination sites, by going directly into communities that may not otherwise have easy access to the vaccines or medical care.”

These mobile vaccination sites will begin with routes in Southeast Colorado, making stops in Ordway, La Junta, Las Animas and Lamar, and in Northeast Colorado, making stops in Eaton, Fort Morgan, Sterling, and Yuma. There will be more information in the coming weeks about the two additional routes in Northwest and Southwest Colorado. 

The buses will begin by administering 250 vaccines per day and will expand to 500 per day. The clinics can serve up to six individuals at a time and allow individuals who may not have a car or other transportation easily available to them to access the vaccine right in their communities. The mobile vaccine clinics are building on the important work of the local public health agencies, and will be utilizing some of Colorado’s supply of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, creating additional convenience for those accessing the clinic. 

To date, more than 1 million Coloradans have been vaccinated against COVID-19. As of today, all Coloradans 16 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. 

Polis also joined a town hall with Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar at the Pueblo Riverwalk’s “Gateway Plaza.”

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