DENVER (CBS4) – On Friday, Colorado will open vaccination availability to the general public allowing adults and even teenagers 16 years and up to get their shot. Gov. Jared Polis said on Monday the state was ready to move forward because of a variety of factors, but also urged patience.
“Everybody 16 and up will be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Everybody 18 and up for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Those are the ages that they’re approved for by the FDA,” Polis said at a news conference. “This is a really important step that Colorado will be taking.”
MORE FROM CBSNEWS.COM: CDC director Rochelle Walensky warns of “impending doom” amid COVID-19 spikes
The governor cited statistics around people age 60 and up that have been vaccinated as a key factor is opening up appointments to all adults. 1.2 million Coloradans above the age of 60 have been vaccinated, or more than 70 percent of that population. Also, the state is receiving more than 400,000 vaccine doses each week. Pharmacies, hospitals, and other health care facilities have maximized appointments, so the state will open its sixth mass vaccination site on Thursday outside Ball Arena in downtown Denver.
“One of the reasons we’re confident expanding access to the vaccine to everybody is these six sites will all be up and going full throttle by April 2. Able to administer as many doses of the vaccine as we get. As soon as we know we’re getting out more vaccine. They open up the additional slots for scheduling,” Polis said.
But as millions of Coloradans become eligible, it will likely take two full months to get to everyone who wants a shot.
“Still anticipate by mid to late May. So that’s only less than two months, six to eight weeks from now, everybody who wants a vaccine will have had the vaccine. That can be a frustrating six to eight weeks for the people that are in Week 6 or Week 7 or Week 5,” Polis said.
As cases have plateaued at a still high level, and some counties could revert back to more stringent health protocols and regulations, Polis is hoping people won’t feel like the pandemic is over just yet.
“Every day we’re getting closer to ending the pandemic, but it is not over yet. Please, if you haven’t been vaccinated, especially, wear a mask,” he said.
MORE FROM DR. DAVE HNIDA: Weird COVID Vaccine Side Effects Include Dreams Of Space
None of the vaccines have been approved for people 15 and younger. For more information and to register, visit www.cocovidvaccine.org or call 1.877.268.2926.