By Alan Gionet

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado is about to have a go at a large mass vaccination site for the first time. This weekend, UCHealth will run a pilot to see how things go.

(credit: CBS)

“We’re going to put together a playbook so to speak, of our traffic flow, the patterns, how our appointments were sent out, where we stage the pharmacy, handle the documentation, IT requirements and everything else,” said UCHealth spokesman Dan Weaver.

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The first event will be for 1,000 people already selected at random and contacted to be show up. UCHealth has COVID-19 vaccine sign-ups for those over 70 at UCHealth.org.

“You might get the call tomorrow you might get the call in a week or two weeks, or three weeks. You will have the opportunity if you were 70 or over to get the vaccine in the next few weeks,” said Gov. Jared Polis at a live update on Friday afternoon.

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Colorado is still on track to vaccinate 70% of the population over 70 by the end of February. There are vaccination events being held by other providers as well, like Salud Family Health Centers and Stride Community Health, but not as large. Getting vaccinations to more people in that age bracket sooner will depend.

“In order to vaccinate more people, we need more vaccines and we depend entirely on the federal government for the weekly supply,” said Polis.

(credit: CBS)

UCHealth hopes to learn how to process a larger group and plan for much bigger vaccine events Jan. 30 and 31.

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“We’re trying to get cars through as quickly as possible and efficiently as possible,” said Weaver.

On those dates next Saturday and Sunday, they hope to vaccinate 5,000 people each day. Again, it will be for people over 70. They will be selected at random from 200,000 who have already signed up on the waiting list and contacted next week. This weekend and next, there will be no shots for people not on the list.

“We will have exactly that same number of doses to provide as we have appointments that have been made. If we provide additional doses to somebody else, it means that somebody who has an appointment won’t be able to get their vaccine,” said Weaver.

That includes people who arrive in the same vehicle and even spouses. That would be unfair to those not married or going to the vaccinations with someone else.

(credit: CBS)

“A married couple would essentially have double the chance of receiving the vaccine,” said Weaver.

In addition to UCHealth, other organizations like Stride Community Health are still taking sign-ups on their sites as well.

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LINK: UCHealth | Colorado COVID-19 Vaccine Guide

Alan Gionet