By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4) — Gov. Jared Polis laid out the plan on Wednesday for getting more people the COVID-19 vaccine. He says it’s vitally important to ending the pandemic.

(credit: CBS)

“These next months are going to be a race against the virus. In order to win, we need to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate as many people as possible, especially those that are most at risk,” he said.

Figuring out how and when people can get vaccinated hasn’t necessarily been easy. It has been a confusing and frustrating process for many.

Wednesday, public health officials broke down the next step of the distribution plan.

“We’re prioritizing Coloradans age 70 and up, a group that sadly accounts for 78% of COVID-19 deaths,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the Executive Director of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

(credit: CDPHE)

If you are in that group, getting a shot could be tricky. If you live in a long term care facility, the federal government will be giving you a vaccine through partnerships with drug stores.

For everyone else, there isn’t a single place to go get a vaccine — and you can’t just walk into a doctor’s office to get one.

(credit: CBS)

“Hospitals and other health systems pharmacies and community clinics and local public health agencies will be administering vaccines,” Hunsaker Ryan says. “This may be by appointment or drive through clinic. If you’re in this age group. We encourage you to call your health care provider for further instructions.”

State officials announced they are working with major hospitals statewide to get online portals going where eligible people can sign up for a vaccine.

“I really expected most of the hospital capacity in the state will be on online portal systems in the next week or so,” said Gov. Polis.

In addition, UCHealth and Denver Health will be contacting their patients soon who are eligible to set up appointments. The State hopes this phase will be done by March and then will begin the next phase.

“We will begin vaccinating essential workers like teachers,” says Hunsaker Ryan.

(credit: CDPHE)

For more information about Colorado’s vaccination plan you can visit covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine.

Michael Abeyta