DENVER – Colorado will receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines next week if the federal approval process goes smoothly and supply chains function as expected, state health officials said Wednesday.
The state is expecting 46,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine the week of Dec. 13 and 95,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine the week of Dec. 20, said Scott Bookman, COVID-19 incident commander for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Colorado sent its original vaccine distribution plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in October but released an amended version at Gov. Jared Polis’ weekly coronavirus briefing on Wednesday.
The first phase of vaccines – which is expected to last through the winter – will be given to health care workers who have direct contact with coronavirus patients and staff members and residents in long-term care facilities that have experienced some of the worst outbreaks in the state and across the U.S.
The next group will include hospital staff members with fewer COVID-19 patient contact as well as those in hospice and dental settings. First responders will also be included in this group with paramedics, firefighters, police, correctional workers, dispatch workers and funeral service employees.
By the spring, Phase 2 will include people older than 65, people of any age with high risks such as heart disease, cancer or immunocompromised systems. The vaccine will also be given to essential workers, people in high-density workplaces, other health care workers and adults who received a placebo in vaccine trials.
The final phase, expected to take place by the summer, will go to the general public for anyone older than 18.
Colorado will require health providers in Phase 1 to report 72 hours after vaccines are administered so that doses do not go to waste, Bookman said.
The vaccines will be held in eight secure facilities across the state, said Brig. Gen. Scott Sherman, director of Joint Staff for the Colorado National Guard. They are not releasing the locations, but local law enforcement will know where they are stored and help with security for the facilities, Sherman said.