COVID-19 Vaccine

Archuleta and La Plata county vaccine providers are currently vaccinating individuals in Phase 1A and some categories of 1B individuals including first responders, moderate risk healthcare workers, and individuals 70+.

We understand that many individuals are eager to receive the vaccine and want more information about distribution plans. SJBPH is working with a number of partners to ensure safe, efficient distribution of the vaccines and will share information through all available channels as it becomes available.

SJBPH’s goal has always been to keep everyone in Archuleta and La Plata counties safe and healthy, and that is especially true in this challenging time. We know our residents care about the health of our communities, too. Our doctors, nurses, and health care staff are going above and beyond to take care of everyone who needs care. Our small businesses and the people who work in them are struggling to stay afloat. One way we can keep each other healthy, support our health care workers, and get communities back on their feet is to get vaccinated against COVID-19. When we get vaccinated, we can slow the surge to help our nurses, doctors, schools, fellow community members, and businesses.

Until the vaccine is widely available, we will all need to continue to follow critical public health protocols. Please wear a mask in public, maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, avoid gatherings, wash your hands often, and stay home when you are sick.

COVID-19 Vaccine Notification Sign Up

Thank you for your interest in getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available! By getting the vaccine, you’re helping our healthcare workers get some respite, our businesses to re-open, our kids back in the classroom, and our public health epidemiologist’s the ability to do more effective contact tracing. Thank you!

Eventually, most residents will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from their healthcare provider or a pharmacy. When the vaccine becomes available, we will notify the public on social media and via the local news. If you would like to receive an email when vaccine is available for your group within the state phased prioritization, please click the link below.

Sign-up for COVID-19 Vaccine Notifications

When can I get vaccinated?

We expect that the initial supply of COVID-19 vaccine(s) will be very limited for several months. This means that a vaccine will not be immediately available to everyone who wants one. To be as fair and efficient with distribution as possible, the state has developed a phased approach to vaccine distribution to save lives and end the crisis that has been brought on by the pandemic as quickly as possible. By vaccinating people who are most likely to get COVID-19 first, we can keep more Coloradans safe.

Colorado is currently vaccinating eligible individuals in Phase 1. After all of Phase 1 is complete, we will proceed with Phase 2 and 3. The state has divided vaccine responsibility as described below:

  • SJBPH will focus their efforts on prioritizing vaccination for any outstanding highest risk healthcare workers in phase 1A as well as moderate risk healthcare workers and first responders in phase 1B.
  • All other phase 1 vaccine providers, such as hospitals, health systems, pharmacies and safety net clinics, will focus on vaccinating persons 70 years of age and older.
  • The staff and residents at long-term care facilities will be vaccinated by the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be 95% effective in preventing COVID-19.
  • Once someone is vaccinated for COVID-19, their body should naturally develop antibodies that correspond with the virus and ward off future infection. It is still not clear how long those antibodies will last. 
  • Two independent advisory committees will review a vaccine’s safety data before it is made available to the public. These committees are the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). 
  • The Pfizer application to the FDA includes two months of follow-up safety data from Phase 3 of clinical trials conducted by universities and other independent bodies.
  • Pfizer’s trial had 44,000 participants; no serious safety concerns have been reported.
  • Tens of thousands of people have already received the vaccines, and none of them have reported any serious health problems.
  • TrialsA diverse group of people participated in every phase of the clinical trials, including populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to generations of systemic inequities. For example, in Pfizers clinical trials, about 42% of volunteers identified as Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, or Native American. About 37% of volunteers for Modernas trials identified as Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, or other. 

The first delivery of the Pfizer vaccine will provide 46,800 vaccine doses. These vaccines will go to health care workers who are treating COVID-19 patients. These workers have been on the front lines since the beginning of the pandemic and are directly exposed to COVID-19 as part of their job. Protecting the people who care for COVID-19 patients will help us save lives until the vaccine becomes widely available.

  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), in close collaboration with local public health agencies across the state, has identified 24 locations with ultra low temperature freezers to receive the first shipment of an ultra cold vaccine. CDPHE has purchased and distributed an additional 10 ultra low temperature freezers.
  • The identified locations across the state were chosen for their unique abilities to store, monitor, and handle vaccines in ultra-cold temperatures (-60°C to -80°C) as well as their willingness to redistribute COVID-19 vaccine(s) to other Phase 1 providers in their regions. The state also considered equitable geographic distribution as well as transportation logistics given expected winter conditions in the coming months.
  • The majority of early phase 1 recipients will receive the vaccine through their employer, local public health agency or through the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care (LTC) Program.
  • More information about provider settings and options for phase 2 and phase 3 recipients will be coming soon.
  • If you are among the people in phase 1A and are not receiving the vaccine through your employer, contact the vaccine distribution location nearest you for more information.
  • For additional questions about where you can receive vaccine or who to contact in your community call COHELP (1-877-462-2911).
  • There are multiple COVID-19 vaccine candidates. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must authorize any vaccine before it will be available to Coloradans. The pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have applied for authorization through an Emergency Use Authorization, which will likely be granted by the FDA. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are expected to be the first to be distributed. Other companies are still going through the process.Pfizer and Moderna  report that both vaccines are around 95% effective.
  • CDC provides detailed profiles for each available vaccine on their Different COVID-19 Vaccines page.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two doses. The Pfizer vaccine will require two doses 21 days apart; the Moderna vaccine will require two doses 28 days apart. COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable. The second dose of any COVID-19 vaccine must be completed with the same vaccine product as the first dose.

  • After the FDA authorizes a vaccine and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) makes recommendations for its use, we expect it will take several months before everyone who wants one can get one because of limited availability. Prioritizing health care workers who have been on the front lines of the pandemic and are directly exposed to COVID-19 as part of their jobs will help us save lives in the next few months.
  • Until the vaccine is widely available and used, it is important to continue taking precautions to slow the spread of the virus, like wearing masks and practicing physical distancing.
  • At least initially, we expect that the COVID-19 vaccines will only be authorized for use in adults. Safety and effectiveness data from clinical trials is still needed before the vaccine is available for children or pregnant adults.
  • Stay up to date about vaccine distribution in Colorado at covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine.
  • Decades of vaccine research demonstrates that most serious side effects generally occur within six weeks of administering a vaccine. For the COVID-19 vaccines, the FDA has required clinical trials to provide data from eight weeks of safety monitoring following the second dose before considering the authorization of a vaccine for public use.
  • Because this is a new vaccine, researchers will be learning more about rare side effects, if any, over the next year. To identify side effects that happen only very rarely (e.g., once in 50,000 doses), hundreds of thousands of people need to be vaccinated and followed over time.
  • The FDA and CDC will continue to closely monitor vaccine safety as the public begins using a new vaccine. Both agencies have both longstanding and new safety systems in place for heightened monitoring of all COVID-19 vaccines. Learn more about the vaccine safety monitoring systems.

Because this is a new vaccine, researchers will be learning more about rare side effects, if any, over the next year. To identify side effects that happen only very rarely (e.g., once in 50,000 doses), hundreds of thousands of people need to be vaccinated and followed over time.

  • Science shows that generally the most serious side effects occur within six weeks of vaccine administration. The current available COVID-19 vaccines have been studied for longer than six weeks, and the companies have not identified or reported serious safety concerns. To date, the independent safety monitoring board overseeing Phase 3 trials of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has not found any serious safety concerns. The FDA will review all the research before authorizing the vaccine for use.
  • The FDA and CDC will continue to closely monitor vaccine safety as the public begins using a new vaccine. If safety monitoring reveals new information about vaccine risks, such as new serious side effects, a vaccine may be removed from the market. Learn more about the vaccine safety monitoring systems.
  • Your privacy is a top priority, and your information won’t be used for anything other than vaccine distribution and follow-up information about the vaccine. Like other routine vaccinations, you will need to share some personal information with your vaccine provider when you get a COVID-19 vaccine. This may include your name, date of birth, and contact information.
  • Sharing your identity and some of your medical history ensures that the vaccine is administered safely, effectively, and responsibly. Your immunization records are confidential, personal medical information, and public health will never share them publicly.
  • The state health department maintains the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS), a confidential, population-based, secure computerized system that collects and consolidates individual-level vaccine and exemption data for Coloradans of all ages from a variety of sources. Health care providers have limited access to CIIS based on their need to input and access data for their patients.
  • Under Colorado law, you can choose to remove your immunization information from CIIS at any time. This is called an opt-out.
  • The state health department will submit daily, anonymous COVID-19 vaccine administration data to the CDC as required. No personally identifiable information will be shared with CDC like your name or full address.

You do not need to be a U.S. citizen, and you will not need to prove lawful presence to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado. Further, public health will never share your information with any immigration or law enforcement agency.

  • It will take time after the vaccination for your body to respond and make enough antibodies to protect you. This could take up to one to two weeks after your last dose.
  • Current info suggests that it is possible that someone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 may still have a mild or asymptomatic infection or spread the virus to others. So it is important to continue taking precautions. Continue wearing masks and practicing physical distancing until it is clear that it is safe to stop.

It could take up to one to two weeks after your last dose of the vaccine to have protection. After that time, because the vaccine has shown high effectiveness, we are hopeful that most people who have received two doses of the vaccine will not be required to quarantine, but we await further guidance from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Yes, you should follow standard quarantine as advised by state and local public health officials if you are possibly exposed between doses of COVID-19 vaccine. It could take up to one to two weeks after your last dose of the vaccine to have protection.

Yes. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms more than one to two weeks after being fully vaccinated, you should isolate and contact your health care provider for instructions on whether to be tested for COVID-19 or other infections.

  • It is currently unknown how long natural immunity lasts after recovering from COVID-19.
  • Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, and cases of reinfection have been reported.
  • Until the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices makes recommendations on how to best use COVID-19 vaccines, we cannot comment on whether people who have had COVID-19 should get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccines have gone through large clinical trials and have shown to be very effective in preventing symptoms of the disease. However, current information suggests it is possible that someone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 may still have a mild or asymptomatic infection or spread the virus to others. Until we know more, it is important to continue taking precautions, like wearing masks and practicing physical distancing, even after you have been vaccinated.

In very rare cases, a vaccine can cause a serious problem, such as a severe allergic reaction. COVID-19 vaccines are covered under the Countermeasure Injury Compensation Program (CICP), not the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) authorizes the CICP to provide benefits to certain individuals or estates of individuals who sustain a covered serious physical injury as the direct result of the administration of COVID-19 vaccines