By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)– The State of Colorado has sent a letter to Phase 1 COVID-19 vaccine providers with more guidance on distribution. Local public health agencies are being told to focus their efforts on vaccinations for highest risk health care workers in Phase 1A as well as moderate risk healthcare workers in Phase 1B.

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The federal government will handle vaccines for staff and residents at long term care facilities through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program. All other Phase 1 providers should focus on vaccinating persons 70 years of age and older. There has been no shortage of confusion on the vaccine program leaving people to fend for themselves to find out when and where to get inoculated.

At ages 90 and 91, Warren and Jan Spaulding may be among the most vulnerable. But so far they have been unable to get the coronavirus vaccination. Their assisted living facility in Golden is trying to help.

Heath Bunch who leads Golden Lodge told CBS4, “They are wanting to protect themselves, their loved ones want them protected and we are trying to make it happen but we are just frustrated at this point of trying to get an answer.”

Married 69 years, the Spauldings realize the virus poses a threat.

“Yeah, because it’s so dangerous, people are dying, people are ill and we don’t like it,” said Jan.

There are vaccinations being given in Colorado, but seeing others receive it is frustrating to those who believe they should be getting it first.

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Gay Ann Ost is a nurse practitioner who calls on patients in homes, “My frustration is not being able to get a vaccine as a health care provider to people in our community.”

UCHealth has vaccines for its patients that they contact while Jefferson County Public Health’s Margaret Huffman said demand is outstripping their supply. She said they are doing their best to try to inoculate those in order of priority outlined by the state.

CBS4 reporter Rick Sallinger drove to a Walgreens drive up window and simply asked, “I’m in category 1B and I was just wondering how I could get the COVID vaccine?”

She referred him to a Walgreens website and a phone number for the state with no specific answers.

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Ost said she there shouldn’t be such confusion.

“Given the time the state and federal government have had knowing the vaccine was coming, I think they could have done a much better job,” she said.

The state’s Joint Information Center released the following additional guidance:

  • We anticipate finishing the majority of remaining Phase 1A healthcare workers around January 15, 2021.
  • The current supply of the Pfrizer and Moderna vaccine received by the state of Colorado from mid-January to late February will be allocated to completing vaccinations for moderate risk healthcare workers, first responders and adults 70 and over.
  • Once providers finish vaccinating these groups, we will be ready to vaccinate frontline essential workers, including teachers and childcare, likely beginning end of February.

Update from CBS4: Warren and Jan Spaulding received their vaccinations on Jan. 6, the day after this was originally published.

(credit: Sara Spaulding)

Rick Sallinger