Colorado vaccine eligibility expands Friday

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By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

On Friday, March 18, those who fall under Colorado’s vaccine priority group 1B.4 will be eligible to received a vaccine.

Gov. Jared Polis announced the news on March 12.

Phase 1B.4, includes:

• People ages 50 and older.

• Student-facing higher education employees.

• Frontline essential workers in food/restaurant services, manufacturing, the U.S. Postal Service, public transit and specialized transportation, public health, human services workers, direct care providers for Coloradans experiencing homeless and journalism.

• Faith leaders.

• People who serve critical functions in state and local governments. 

• Adults who received a placebo during a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.

• People 16-49 with one of the state’s listed high-risk conditions.

“It’s a very, very large group of people,” said Brian Devine, San Juan Basin Public Health’s (SJBPH) deputy incident commander for its COVID-19 response.

Devine estimated that 30,000 people between Archuleta and La Plata counties will qualify under 1B.4 and noted that while more providers are enrolled to administer vaccines, the supply of vaccines is still limited.

Devine also acknowledged that vaccine distribution in southwest Colorado continues to be ahead of the state, and a “pretty limited” amount of 1B.4 has already been vaccinated in the region.

As of March 13, SJBPH reported Wednesday, 3,708 of an estimated 13,999 people in Archuleta County, or 26.5 percent, were at least partially vaccinated.

The agency reports that 2,992 people, or 21.4 percent of the population, are fully vaccinated in the county.

Those figures include 70 percent of the 70+ population being at least partially vaccinated and 66 percent being fully vaccinated.

More than 1.9 million Coloradans have been vaccinated, according to the state.

Polis also noted that Coloradans who are currently eligible for the vaccine but have not yet received it that they will still be able to get a vaccine appointment as the state moves forward with 1B.4. Once the vaccine opens up to the general public, vaccine providers will be able to prioritize those who are at risk due to their age, and others with high-risk conditions who have not yet received the vaccine.

Polis anticipated vaccine eligibility would open to the general public by mid-April.

How do I get the vaccine?

Archuleta County has several enrolled vaccine providers. For information on vaccine eligibility groups and area vaccine providers, visit https://sjbpublichealth.org/covid-19-vaccine/ and see below.

PSMC:

PSMC announced Tuesday that it is currently enrolling all groups for a COVID-19 vaccine, but indicated vaccines continue to be subject to availability.

To enroll with PSMC, visit https://pagosaspringsmedicalcenter.org/vaccine to complete and submit registration forms. 

Those who are unable to access the form online can call PSMC’s vaccine line at 507-3995 and leave a message with: full name, date of birth, county of residence, phone number, email address and which group applies to you.

PSMC will call those on its list to set up vaccine appointments.

Pagosa Medical Group:

Those who are eligible can text Pagosa Medical Group at 372-0456 (preferred), call the same number or email info@pagosamedicalgroup.org.