By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4)– Under the current structure, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says vaccine providers have the infrastructure in place to vaccinate between 300,000 and 350,000 people per week, but the doses available still don’t come close to that amount. In early March, the CDPHE hopes to have approximately 218,000 doses available per week.

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It’s the same week that essential workers in phase 1B.3 becomes eligible. The CDPHE estimates there are 1.15 million Coloradans who qualify. Food service workers aren’t explicitly named under phase 1B.3 in the state’s vaccination chart, but the CDPHE says they’re essential, too.

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“I think we’re more vulnerable than some groceries workers, or at least the same, because we walk up to a table and there are patrons that are unmasked,” said Chris Fuselier, owner of Blake Street Tavern.

Fuselier expects former staff to return once they’re vaccinated. He lost nearly 30 employees who said the risk wasn’t worth it.

“I have diabetes and I’m trying to be as careful as possible because I am suspect to being vulnerable. I’ve got other staff that have severe asthma,” said Fuselier.

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Fuselier says he appreciates that restaurant workers are considered essential, but he would love some guidance from the state to give his employees on where and how to get these vaccines.

“We are currently planning other avenues, including large mass vaccination sites around the state, that will be both state run and then possibly some FEMA run,” said Scott Sherman, Brigadier General.

Coloradans in phase 1B.3 have lot in common. They all provide essential services and most aren’t paid enough to risk their lives to provide them.

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“Our staff is working paycheck to paycheck and they need to be at work. We can’t be remote,” said Fuselier.

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They’re eligible for the vaccine in just over two weeks.

Tori Mason