By Justin Adams

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Denise Varra received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine last weekend with the help of STRIDE Community Health Center and the Cherry Creek School District. She was pleased with how simple the process was.

covid vaccines

(credit: CBS)

“It was very organized,” Varra said. “They made it very easy. I’ll be 80 this month. To have this protection is everything.”

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This was the goal of STRIDE Community Health Center’s CEO Ben Weiderholt: making sure the vaccines given out to individuals aged 70 and older were done so in the safest and most comfortable way possible. To ensure this, STRIDE Community Health used the cafeteria at Smoky Hill High School where 500 people were vaccinated.

“This is such an important event for patients that are receiving the vaccine and so we want to make it as patient friendly as possible,” Weiderholt said.

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(credit: CBS)

Several stations were set up, guiding the patients from the parking lot where their registration was verified to inside where the shot was administered. Cherry Creek School District sees this as a way to use their vacant buildings to give life to others in their backyard.

“This is their home neighborhood,” said Michelle Weinraub, the Director of Health Services for Cherry Creek Schools. “For all we know, we have grandparents of students here or were parents of students here years ago. This is their place.”

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The partnership with STRIDE Community Health Center and Cherry Creek School District continues as the next vaccinations will be at Overland High School on Jan. 30. To register for that, go to

Justin Adams