DENVER (CBS4)– Gov. Jared Polis announced big changed to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program on Wednesday, with some people getting it sooner than they originally thought. Phase 1B will now include those 70 and older, essential workers like grocery store employees and teachers, while health care workers not on the frontline and dental offices as well as first responders were already part of this phase.
The update during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon left many with questions about when and where to go to get their shot.
“It was like, ‘Yippee! Tell me where to go today and I will be there,’” Susie Bollig said.
Bollig, 70, is a teacher and was excited to hear she would be moving up in the phased distribution plan, but like thousands of others, she struggled to find information about where to go to get the vaccine.
The direction from the state was to check with your doctor, which caught many primary care offices off guard.
“We have had numerous calls … more today,” Dr. Greg Hirons, medical director for Rocky Mountain Primary Care said.
Questions from older patients, family members of older patients and essential workers wanting to know when and where to go to get their vaccines.
“We do not know at this point. We are waiting for more information from CDPHE and I’m sure they are trying to obviously do their best as quickly as they can, I can say they have provided an excellent source of information for once we do get the vaccine,” he said.
Hirons says they did register to be a vaccine provider in the fall, but so did a number of other facilities and who is approved hasn’t been made clear.
“There were over 1,000 surveys filled out, so there were a lot of offices, I don’t know how they will make that decision. Obviously, it will depend on supply,” he said.
For those who have been anxiously waiting for their shot at the vaccine, they say the excitement is there, they just need the guidance to go with it.
“Give me the information I can use for my life and so I can get my shot,” Bollig said.
CDPHE says they are working with local public health agencies to identify additional vaccine providers, to help distribute the vaccine to the rest of those in Phase 1A and start on Phase 1B, but public health agencies say this is the first they are hearing of changes to the distribution plan.
The state says once they are through Phase 1A, which they expect will happen around Jan. 15 is when they will be able to provide better information for those 70 and older on where to go to get their vaccines.
Additional Information From The CDPHE:
Several counties are planning to hold mass vaccination clinics for members of their communities. In the coming days and as more information becomes finalized, we will publish additional locations for vaccine distribution on the state website. For more information on the vaccine distribution process, you may call COHELP at 303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. or visit our Vaccine for Coloradans website.