DENVER (AP) — Colorado has hit its goal to vaccinate 70% of residents 70 and older by the end of February, Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday. The state expects to receive 45,500 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses this week. Delivery of the vaccine would come on top of 209,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, both of which require two shots.

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Starting Friday, anyone in the state 60 and older will be eligible to receive a vaccine. The expanded eligibility will also include some frontline, essential workers such as those in the grocery, agriculture and meatpacking industries. Younger people with two or more qualifying medical conditions also can get the vaccine.

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Toward the end of March, the state will move on to the next phase of vaccine distribution to people 50 and older, along with frontline restaurant, postal service, manufacturing and public transit workers, Polis said.

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For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: Governor's Office Lifts Face Mask Mandate For Those Who Are Vaccinated

By PATTY NIEBERG Associated Press/Report for America

Nieberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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