DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado is making it easier to get vaccinated as it moves to eliminate pre-registration at some of its biggest vaccination sites. Vaccination sites at Ball Arena, The Ranch complex in Larimer County and Pueblo Fairgrounds along the Front Range will no longer require pre-registration.
“There’s no more excuses,” said Gov. Jared Polis Tuesday. “Get vaccinated. It’s free quick and easy at multiple sites across the state.”
Ball Arena will be open 9 a.m.- 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Ranch Complex in Loveland is open 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Pueblo County Fairgrounds is already allowing people to walk or drive up. It is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday through Monday.
Some places are already allowing some people to show up without an appointment. Among, them, the vaccination site at the Stanley Marketplace, started by businesswoman Tran Wills, owner of Base Coat Nail Salon at the Marketplace.
“It makes be very happy to, you know, make sure everyone is taken care of,” said Wills. The site was providing 500 vaccinations Tuesday. Many had pre-booked, but they were allowing walk-ins. Wills noticed how that drew more underserved community members.
“Different people. It has been such a diverse community today it makes me happy to see. It wasn’t just a certain crowd of people, it was everyone today. And we’ve actually had a lot of the Latino community come today. So our translators have been busy all day.”
Among those showing up, 20-year-old Netaru Davis, who works as a babysitter in a home where the adults in the family are vaccinated.
“I think it definitely makes it a lot easier for people just because it’s less kind of like fighting over like reservation times and appointment times. And so when people don’t know where to go or are unsure it kind of makes is easier for people to get in and get it done.”
Ethiopian immigrant Neguse Dsehayu got a text from a friend letting him know.
“You have to take the shot.” Chef Gabriel Gonzales has been eligible, but unable to get away from work for a vaccination. “My boss and a couple of my co-workers actually told me about it,” he said. “Since I’m one of the main people at my restaurant I just been working non-stop, unable to get the time to do it.”
The presence of a local clinic also helped. “We just had to wait and wait and wait and then we got here and I’m happy that we’re getting this vaccine,” said Steve Hanley. He and his wife have no car. They work different shifts and haven’t seen much of each other or other family during the pandemic.
“Just staying at home. Not being able to see family. Just video chatting or talking or texting that’s pretty much what we’ve been doing,” said Angela Aukema. She works at a fast food restaurant, but has not been able to get to a vaccination site without transportation. They got a ride from a volunteer Tuesday.
Wills has found a lot of obstacles for many people after she decided to run a site. It took time for the state to authorize it. Her original purpose was to get people like her workers vaccinated.
“Most of the people who work in beauty or a restaurant are marginalized communities. They don’t have healthcare most of the time. A lot of them are self-employed so they can’t afford health insurance. But they still have to work. They’re just like all of us. They still have to make a living right?”
She is hoping to keep going and bring more people in and even change hours.
“Next time I do another one, I might do eleven to seven. I probably could have after five o’clock could have gotten 1,000 more people evacuated.”