All Coloradans age 18+ will be eligible Friday with 16 and 17 year-olds eligible only for Pfizer — SJBPH emphasizes limited vaccine availability and continuing public health protocols
Governor Polis announced on March 29th that all Coloradans over 16 years of age will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine starting Friday, April 2nd. The announcement today by the State of Colorado moved the opening of general population eligibility up by two weeks from the originally anticipated date. San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) understands many Archuleta and La Plata county residents are eager to get the vaccine, however vaccine supply remains limited, and not everyone will get vaccinated immediately.
Vaccination rates for Archuleta and La Plata counties remain above both state and national averages. As of March 27th, 28% of Archuleta County’s total population and 27% of La Plata County’s total population are fully vaccinated. The national average of individuals who are fully vaccinated is 15.8%, Colorado’s average of individuals who are fully vaccinated is 17%. Nearly 40% of the total population and nearly 50% of the adult population in La Plata and Archuleta counties have received at least one dose of vaccine.
In anticipation of greater vaccine supply, SJBPH continues to expand local vaccine distribution with the help of numerous partners and will continue to prioritize people in higher risk groups. As of March 27th, 69% of individuals over the age of 70 have been fully vaccinated in Archuleta County, and 75% of individuals over the age of 70 have been fully vaccinated in La Plata County. Vaccine supply coming to southwest Colorado remains limited and it may take several weeks to vaccinate all members of the general public who want to be vaccinated.
Those who do not immediately succeed in registering for a vaccine appointment should continue to check for availability on the SJBPH website or by contacting their medical provider. Residents can also sign up to receive a weekly email notification for updates on vaccine availability from SJBPH and providers. 16 and 17-year-olds are only authorized to receive the Pfizer vaccine and should confirm the type of vaccine offered by their chosen provider before making an appointment. All others are urged to take whatever approved vaccine is offered to them.
“We appreciate the commitment of our community to protect our friends, family, and neighbors,” said Liane Jollon, SJBPH Executive Director. “We’re looking forward to getting more of our community vaccinated, however at this time less than one-third of our community is fully protected. We must remain vigilant to slow the spread of the virus by practicing precautions like wearing a mask and getting tested.”
Vaccines drastically reduce the likelihood of contracting and spreading COVID-19 and are highly effective at preventing severe illness or death from the virus. In addition to getting one of the three safe and effective vaccines, SJBPH continues to urge everyone to follow these important public health precautions:
• Wearing face masks
• Social distancing of at least 6 feet
• Avoiding nonessential indoor spaces, and gatherings with others not in your household
• Getting tested if you are symptomatic, think you’ve been exposed, or if you work in a high-contact job
• Avoiding travel if possible
• Washing hands well
• Getting the COVID-19 vaccine
For information on local vaccine providers visit: https://sjbpublichealth.org/covid-19-vaccine/.
To sign up for vaccine notifications visit https://bit.ly/35dzCLw for English or visit http://bit.ly/2LvUI0v for Spanish.