DENVER (CBS4) – Restaurant workers were about to be allowed to get the vaccine this week but have been pushed down into the next phase. Gov. Jared Polis said it’s because there simply aren’t enough vaccines.

“St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and that’s one of our busiest days usually, we have to do capacity rules and all that stuff, but now that our vaccines [are] pushed past that it’s kind of disappointing as well,” Maureen Hogan said.

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Hogan and others found out last week they’ll have to wait until later this month.

“Grocery store workers are definitely essential, I just think putting us in the same group as them was the best idea, cause we’re not only interacting with people without masks we’re also touching their dirty plates, we’re touching their forks that went in their mouths,” she related.

Hogan works at Blake Street Tavern. Chris Fuselier owns the Tavern, and aired his frustrations at the delay this week on Twitter. Gov. Polis responded, reiterating the delay due to vaccine availability, but this is where Fuselier sees an opportunity to enhance the 5 Star variance program.

North Side Tavern in Broomfield

(credit: CBS)

“Then how about we get together and talk about loosening restrictions? Which is in five of the adjoining states to Colorado,” he said.

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March 16 marks the day restaurants like Fuselier’s shutdown last year, and businesses have since been struggling to survive.

“Allowing us to have plexiglass between booths, allowing us to have plexiglass at the bar, allowing us to have late call, back to 2 a.m.,” Fuselier said.

Restaurant workers are now expected to begin getting their vaccines March 21, instead of March 5.

“I feel like people would feel a lot more comfortable coming in if they knew that all of the staff was vaccinated and that would mean more business for us, and it hurts us that we have to wait a little bit longer,” Hogan said.

In response to our story, the governor’s office sent CBS4 a statement that read:

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“The Governor expects that the supply of vaccine will be enough to start on restaurant workers by March 21st along with other frontline essential workers, making Colorado one of the first states to make the vaccine available to restaurant workers and the Polis administration’s goal throughout this once in a century pandemic has always been to save lives while protecting the Colorado economy. Every Coloradan deserves the lifesaving vaccine and every Coloradan who wants it will get be able to get it soon, but we don’t receive enough for everyone to get it at once.”

Jacqueline Quynh