DENVER (CBS4) – Several major healthcare systems around the Denver metro area are currently offering vaccine appointments for those eligible under state guidelines, but access has been limited. In an update to the state’s distribution plan on Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis said getting enough of the vaccine to meet demand is a major hurdle.
Several other struggles continue to plague those age 70 and older trying to get their dose.
“It’s been a long ten months,” Barbara Bowen said.
Bowen says the arrival of a vaccine and her being eligible in Phase 1B gave her hope that the isolation she and her husband were feeling would be a thing of the past.
“It’s like I’m never going to get this vaccine because no one knows I’m there. I call my doctor and he says call these hospitals. I call these hospitals and they so no you’re not in our system you haven’t come to our hospital,” Bowen said.
Polis said providers are making changes to get the vaccine to a broader community.
“The providers joining us today have worked hard to increase their capacity to administer the vaccine to the patients, but also opening that to people they don’t have a relationship with,” Polis said.
Some of Colorado’s largest healthcare systems will now offer vaccination to non-patients who are age 70 and older, while also addressing some of the frustrations surrounding registration.
“If you’re not tech savvy, trying to get on their portal, even if you have the right information, can be very frustrating,” Bowen said.
During the update with Gov. Polis, health officials with Centura Health and UCHealth announced they will offer a hotline for those not wanting to navigate a website.
“In the next few days we will stand up a call-in line for those who don’t have access to a computer or the internet where you can call get info and register by phone and then we can communicate with you by phone,” UCHealth Chief Innovation officer Dr. Richard Zane said.
Bowen says after a week of daily calls and hours on hold she is finally on a wait list and that is good enough for her.
“All I wanted was to let them know I’m out here and eventually my name will come to the top and I will be able to get my vaccine.
As soon as more vaccines are available each of those hospital systems say they’ll be able to vaccinate more of the community. As soon as the hotlines are up and running, hospital officials say information will be updated on their websites.