By Mekialaya White

DENVER (CBS4) – Starting Friday, Colorado moves into Phase 1B.4 of vaccination distribution. At 2.5 million people, it’s the largest group to date.

Among those qualified are restaurant workers like Chris Fuselier, who owns Blake Street Tavern in downtown Denver.

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“I feel good, but I’m not going to feel really good until we actually get vaccinated,” said Fuselier.

He says the day has been a long time coming, following a fight toward eligibility for his workers.

“Three weeks ago, we were assured by the governor that we would be grouped with grocery store workers. The next day, he announced that restaurant workers would be pushed down from phase 1B.3 to Phase 1B.4.”

Fuselier argues restaurant workers are more vulnerable than anyone else.

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“We’re out there serving patrons that don’t have masks on at their tables. So it’s very confusing to us and disheartening that we’ve been pushed down to the bottom of the line.”

“I don’t think we should be grouped the same as healthy 50+ year olds. I’m 57 and I have diabetes, but I don’t think that I should be in the same category as my restaurant workers that are dealing with the public day in and day out,” he added.

(credit: CBS)

He also says vaccine appointments have been hard to come by. “I can’t find availability for my staff. I can’t.”

Starting next week, there will be several separate state-run clinics for restaurant workers to help solve this problem. CBS4’s Mekialaya White first broke the news of the clinics.

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There will be a limited number of appointments available across Colorado. The state cannot guarantee an appointment, and is asking that people sign up by Friday at 3 p.m.

Mekialaya White