By Jeff Todd

PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – One organization in Colorado is working to increase its role to vaccinate as many people as possible, shifting the burden away from health care systems and into local communities.

“Until we get everybody vaccinated, we will stay at it,” said Terra Avila, the Regional Manager for COVID Check Colorado. “We move fast. It’s just a constant adjust and adapt and move.”

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(credit: CBS)

COVID Check Colorado has spouted out of Gary Community Investments and now employs 400 people around the state. Early on the focus has been to expand testing, especially around teachers and students. Since last week, the organization has started vaccination clinics.

“This was finalized about a week ago, and then we had it up and running by yesterday,” Avila said surveying a drive-up vaccine clinic at a sports stadium in Parker. “Everything moves very fast within our organization because COVID doesn’t take a break, and the vaccinations came out, we had to get moving on them.”

A combination of teaches from Douglas County and Littleton Public Schools filled the appointments on Tuesday, with more than 500 doses being given out. It was the second day at this site, but more supply of vaccine hasn’t been found.

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“It went great, and I have to say I’m very excited. I think this is fantastic,” said Diane Erichsen, a substitute for Douglas County School District. “They told us we would be getting our vaccine or having an opportunity to do it soon, and this was really soon.”

COVID Check Colorado runs 36 testing sites in Colorado. The site in Parker will return to testing on Wednesday, but the organization hopes to convert those sites to administer more vaccine if and when the state has more.

(credit: CBS)

A partnership with Centura Health secured the vaccine for Tuesday’s event. The winter storm gripping the country’s heartland is delaying more than 100,000 doses from getting to Colorado.

“We plan to continue testing until the very last vaccine is administered,” Avila said. “This is going to be the trend. We will continue testing to keep our community tested and keep them healthy, but we will be converting more and more toward vaccines and as the number of people are being vaccinated the number of people needing to be tested will decrease.”

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Jeff Todd