By Jamie Leary

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo (CBS4)– Within hours of Summit County announcing on Wednesday it would begin vaccinations for community members 70 years and older, appointments were booked full.

“About 3,000 people are within this group according to the state demographer, and we only have 814 doses this week to give out,” said Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland.

(Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Wineland addressed media during a meeting Wednesday afternoon following the announcement.

“We know that we’re going to continue to get doses on a weekly basis so we’re going to start vaccinating the population that we know is most vulnerable in our community,” she continued, “We’ve been having to protect them all along and we’ve been doing a great job of it, but we know they’re 500 times more likely to die of COVID if they were to get it. So, we’re really excited to be vaccinating this population.”

Wineland said vaccinations for remaining frontline workers and the 70+ age group will take place over the next couple of weeks, “until we get them done, we won’t be looking at other groups.”

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“We will continue to prioritize our health care workers and frontline responders who have not yet been vaccinated, along with our residents ages 70 and older in the next round of vaccinations,” Wineland said. “We will notify the public as soon as we know the timeline for the arrival of the next batch of vaccine from the state.”

While you can book a vaccine appointment through the pharmacies at the local Safeway and City Market, the county has set up a drive through pod to facilitate vaccinations. For those in the 70+ age group lucky enough to book an online appointment, it will be the only location where you can get vaccinated from the comfort of your car.

(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

“We have a really wonderful system, we call it a vaccine pod that people can drive through, receive the vaccine… wonderful customer service there. They can also schedule appointments through local pharmacies as well,” said Summit County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence.

Lawrence said it was a surprise that more vaccines were made available so quickly.

“I think we’re just going to continue to receive vaccines. I mean honestly, this is sooner than I expected for your 70+ population and I think that’s been a pleasant surprise. I would’ve never guessed that would’ve happened in 2020, and here we will have people in the older adult population in Summit County getting the vaccine on New Year’s Eve of 2020,” she said.

Vaccine appointments can also be made through local participating pharmacies, Safeway, and City Market.

LINK: Summit County COVID-19 Vaccine Drive Thru, Appointments, Distribution Plan

Jamie Leary