Walk-ins welcome at Thursday vaccine clinic

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By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

On Wednesday, San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) announced it will be accepting walk-ins for its Pfizer vaccine clinic with Jogan Health this afternoon.

The clinic will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. today, Thursday, April 22, at the Ross Aragon Community Center, located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd.

You can also make an appointment at: https://www.comassvax.org/reg/6912607539.

To speak to SJBPH call handlers, call (970) 247-5702.

Everyone age 16 and older is now eligible to receive the vaccine in Colorado, though 16- and 17-year olds are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

“There’s pretty consistent information that we haven’t reached everybody who wants to be vaccinated,” said Brian Devine, SJBPH environmental director and deputy incident commander for the agency’s COVID-19 response. 

Devine suggested vaccine distribution is now in a phase where people are willing and excited to be vaccinated, but have obstacles preventing them from getting into a clinic, such as transportation, clinics being unavailable when they can go and lack of opportunity to research what clinics are available.

He added that planning more than a week or two in advance has been difficult, but SJBPH hopes to have consistent days, hours and locations for clinics.

To help, SJBPH is looking into additional community-based clinics, mobile clinics, pop-up clinics that could be tied in with community events, walk-in clinics and more.

“We don’t know the exact percentage of people that need to be vaccinated to put this pandemic to an end, but we know we’re not there yet,” Devine said.

As of Wednesday, SJBPH reported that 43 percent of Archuleta County’s total population had received at least one dose of a vaccine, with 37 percent fully vaccinated (at least two weeks out from receiving their final vaccine dose).

Of the eligible population (those 16 and older), 51 percent have received at least one dose, with 44 percent fully vaccinated.

As of Monday, Devine reported, Archuleta County had seen two breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among vaccinated people, which he noted is proportional with what is being seen elsewhere.

Those individuals, he added, had mild symptoms.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the state of Colorado has reported 819 breakthrough cases out of 106,965 total cases from the end of January through April 19, which a press release notes, “represents a very small percentage of cases.” 

“If you were waiting for some reason, now is the time,” Devine said.

Individuals interested in receiving the vaccine but who cannot make today’s clinic can sign up for vaccine notifications from SJBPH on its website and can sign up with multiple providers to see where they can get an appointment quickest.

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