By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Gov. Jared Polis is responding to President Joe Biden’s remarks on Thursday about the COVID-19 pandemic. The president commended Colorado’s Comeback Cash giveaway program to help incentivize more people to get vaccinated.

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So far, 3,440,614 Coloradans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine which accounts for 69.5% of the eligible population, ages 12 and up. Colorado is one of 20 states to meet Biden’s aspirational goal of vaccinating 70% of Americans aged 18 and up by July 4. Colorado was ahead of Biden’s schedule.

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“Today, President Biden recognized how Colorado continues to lead the nation when it comes to administering the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. But we still have a long way to go to make Colorado safe. We have partnered with the business community to get the vaccine into arm after arm and to ensure every Coloradan can get vaccinated so they can protect themselves and our economy,” said Polis in a statement. “Colorado has been administering the vaccine for over eight months and it has proven to be a safe and effective defense against this destructive virus. This is now becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated and we have the tool to end it. Now more than ever it could not be more clear that you are either on the side of spreading this virus or you are on the side of helping the state get back to the Colorado we know and love.”

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(credit: CBS)

Last week, Polis announced a new gift card incentive program to help get more people vaccinated in Colorado. According to the governor’s office, “In the first seven days, Colorado distributed 45% of available gift cards, with 40.7% of gift cards distributed in counties outside of the Denver Metro area. Vaccine clinics that offered gift cards saw, on average, a 25 person per day increase (~39%) in the gift card period compared to the rest of July.”

Certain COVID-19 vaccination sites in Colorado are offering $100 Walmart cards to eligible people who get the shot. Polis said the sites are in areas with low vaccination rates and there will be extensive text outreach to residents.

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Jennifer McRae