By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Gov. Jared Polis talked about how the end is in sight with the development of a coronavirus vaccine that could potentially be distributed to some people before the end of the year during a COVID-19 in Colorado update on Monday afternoon. He urged everyone to practice social distancing, wear a mask and cancel social plans with anyone who is not in your immediate household.

(credit: Getty Images)

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Polis did discuss the likelihood that some people may not want to be vaccinated against coronavirus, something that he didn’t seem to be too concerned with. In fact, he said that there would likely be more people waiting to get the vaccine before there are even enough doses available.

“I’m not concerned by folks who might not want to get the vaccine. We’ve been very effective with measles and mumps and other diseases, we have very high immunization rates. Most Coloradans not only want to get the vaccine, but the sooner, the better that we can end this… this horrific situation and get our lives back to better. So everybody, you know, doesn’t need to get it to establish herd immunity. We need to reach that, you know, 70-80% immunization rate with a vaccine that’s 90% plus effective,” said Polis. “So people are going to be lining up. The issue is going to be there’s more people that want it, than there are doses.”

He said that for most of the population, the vaccine will be available starting in January 2021 and continuing through the spring months.

Gov. Jared Polis (credit: CBS)

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“The other important thing to note is, you’re not immune the minute you’ve got this shot. You have to have two shots spaced apart by about a month. And then another couple weeks till you’re immune, so it’s a month or two,” said Polis.

In previous coronavirus updates, Colorado health officials have explained that the coronavirus vaccine will be distributed in three phases depending on several factors, including risk and need.

Polis also took the opportunity to announce that he is extending the face mask mandate in Colorado by 30 days. He also put a lot of responsibility on individuals to “do what’s right” and urged everyone to wear a mask and practice social distancing regardless of the guidelines put in place by their community.

Monday’s coronavirus update comes as Colorado is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, what Polis called more prevalent than when the pandemic first hit.

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On Sunday, 33,223 tests conducted with 11.47% positivity rate, that’s the 7-day moving average, and a 12.85% daily positivity rate on Nov. 8. In Colorado, there are 1,060 coronavirus patients currently hospitalized, with 85% of facilities reporting. There are 40% of critical care ventilators in use.

Jennifer McRae