By Michael Abeyta

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– At Thursday’s weekly COVID-19 response briefing, Gov. Jared Polis introduced the audience to Dr. Marc Moss, head of the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine at University of Colorado School of Medicine-Anschutz. He says when it comes to the pandemic, things are getting worse despite the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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“The availability of an extremely effective and safe vaccine whose development is truly one of the greatest achievements in modern medicine created a sense of optimism that the pandemic might end,” says Moss, “After receiving my first vaccine shot in our hospital auditorium, I cried with joy when I realized I might not die in the line of service, and with a sense of relief I immediately returned to the ICU to care for my COVID patients. There was hope. However, that December sense of hope now seems short-lived.”

Watch the complete comments by Moss in the briefing below:

That’s why the governor announced he is using federal funds to help more doctors administer more vaccines. Colorado primary care physicians can now apply for grant money to buy the equipment needed to give COVID-19 shots at their practices. They hope it helps increase vaccination numbers because people trust their family doctors.

“Family practices like mine offer vaccinations to many other preventable diseases which makes us a natural place for people to come and get their COVID-19 vaccine,” says Dr. Aaron Shupp, Family Medicine Specialist at Rocky Mountain Primary Care.

Facilities are eligible for $60,000 to $120,000 of funding. The money will go a long way.

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Dr. Shupp says, “Our clinic can use this grant funding provided by this new program to get every patient who wants to get the shot vaccinated.”

Doctors are hopeful more vaccinations can hopefully help stem the tide before it is too late. Dr. Moss says his staff, although dedicated to treating their patients, is already on their last leg.

“The new wave of COVID patients in predominately unvaccinated people may ultimately break the souls of our colleagues,” he says.

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In addition, Polis announced a program to pay school kids $10 every time they get a COVID-19 test. If you would like to find out more about the grant program you can visit the state’s website: https://covid19.colorado.gov/.

Michael Abeyta