By Audra Streetman

DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is expanding outreach programs to make sure everyone who is eligible has a chance to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine. The state announced on Thursday it is partnering with providers to open pop-up vaccine clinics in underserved areas.

(credit: CBS)

“We recognize that health disparities are not a result of individual choices, but rather the institutional and systemic barriers that have existed long before the pandemic. But we certainly have goals and are monitoring closely groups by race and ethnicity to make sure that we have enough pop-up clinics in the right places,” said CDPHE Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan.

READ MORE: New Colorado Team Assembled To Get COVID Vaccine More Efficiently To Minority Communities

Ryan said the state’s equity initiative aims to open community-based vaccination clinics in 50% of the top 50 census tracks for high density of low income and minority communities.

READ MORE: Metro Caring Hosts COVID Vaccine Equity Panel Meeting, Tries To Encourage More Minorities To Get Vaccinated

CDPHE updates vaccine distribution by race and ethnicity on its COVID-19 vaccine dashboard. As of Thursday, 74% of people vaccinated in Colorado are white, 5% are Hispanic and 2% are Black. For context, nearly 22% of the state’s population is Hispanic and nearly 4% is Black.

MORE NEWS: Updated Colorado Counties COVID Vaccine Distribution Information

Colorado vaccines administered by race/ethnicity (credit: CDPHE)

Vaccine providers are not required to collect data on race or ethnicity, which is why about 14% of the state’s vaccine data on race and ethnicity is listed as unknown.

Audra Streetman