Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH) has opened up COVID-19 vaccination clinics to those who fall within 1B3 of the state vaccination phases in response to Governor Jared Polis’ Friday announcement that shifted dates and vaccine-eligible groups.
What was previously thought to be 1B3 has been further divided into 1B3 and 1B4. CCPH provides further detail below about which ages, and groups are included in each level:
- Effective March 5, phase 1B3 will includes Coloradans age 60 and older, 16-59 with 2 or more comorbidities, and agriculture and grocery workers. This accounts for about 1 million people in Colorado.
- Later in March, 1B4 will be launched to include Coloradans age 50 and older, student-facing higher education faculty and staff, frontline food/restaurant/manufacturing/United States Postal Service/public transportation/public health/human services workers, faith leaders, continuity of local and state government, those working directly with the homeless population, frontline journalists, and people of age 16-49 with high risk conditions. This population is estimated to be 2.5 million Coloradans.
The high-risk conditions that are part of the newly announced approved groups are as listed: cancer (defined as patients who are currently receiving treatment or have received treatment within the last month for cancer), chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes mellitus, Down syndrome, specific heart conditions (heart failure, cardiomyopathies, coronary heart disease, and severe valvular/congenital heart disease), obesity (BMI greater or equal to 30kg/m’2), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, solid organ transplant, individuals with disabilities that require home care, and people with disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks.
According to CCPH Director Andrea Carlstrom, the updated phasing maximizes the impact of vaccine distribution efforts and targets those most at risk. The changes are based on what is currently known about the vaccine supply and is believed to be the best course of action to move as quickly as possible to vaccinate Coloradans.
For more detailed information, go to: https://covid19.colorado.gov/for-coloradans/vaccine/vaccine-for-coloradans. Over the next few days, CCPH will be working on communicating talking points, Frequently Asked Questions, and graphics, through its multiple channels.
It is expected that Phase 2 and 3 will be combined and simplified to vaccinate the general public (perhaps age-based) later on this spring.
“The latest announcement by Governor Jared Polis is a welcome one, and we are encouraged to continue vaccinating our county’s highest risk groups while getting closer and closer to getting out of the phasing game that the public health system and vaccine providers have been tasked with,” said Carlstrom. “While we can’t vaccinate everyone overnight, CCPH and our local partners are doing everything possible to get as many people in our county vaccinated as soon as supplies arrive. We have made great strides, and we will continue to do so.”
Anyone falling within the approved categories in 1B3 may now register for any upcoming CCPH vaccination clinics at www.chaffeecounty.rsvpify.com.
An announcement will be made when those in 1B4 are allowed to register. Vaccine supplies continue to be limited, and as the vaccine is available, CCPH will be adding clinics and slots, so it is important to monitor the online scheduler regularly. For those who do not have access to a computer or smartphone, local libraries have offered their computers, and service providers are available to assist with registration.
People in previous phases continue to remain eligible as Colorado moves through subsequent phases. Providers may prioritize people in earlier phases first. For example, providers may choose to vaccinate people age 70 and older before vaccinating those who are age 65 and older.
Because there are multiple vaccine providers in Chaffee County, it is important to cancel any existing appointments if taking a slot elsewhere to free it up for someone else. Before committing to a first dose appointment, it is essential to plan ahead to receive a second dose, either 3 weeks later for Pfizer or 4 weeks later for Moderna, through the same provider.
Clinic at Sangre de Cristo Electric Association
In addition to currently scheduled clinics already underway, CCPH will be hosting another vaccination clinic at Sangre de Cristo Electric Association at 29780 U.S. Hwy 24 in Buena Vista on Wednesday, March 10 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. This clinic is for first doses only, and CCPH will find out about which type of vaccine will be used a few days before the event.
Register at https://chaffeecounty-mar10.rsvpify.com. In order to avoid traffic congestion, CCPH urges people to arrive no earlier than their scheduled time.
- The clinic will be drive-thru.
- Completed paperwork will be expected upon arrival.
- Wear clothing that can easily be removed to administer a shot in the upper arm.
- Expect to spend 30 minutes or more to complete the process. There is a mandatory 15 minute observation time post-vaccination.
- Second dose appointments will be scheduled for either March 31 or April 7 depending on which vaccine is used.
CCPH has also streamlined the way that people can schedule COVID-19 testing. The testing link can be found here: https://chaffeecovidtesting.rsvpify.com/. CCPH cautions people to be very conscious of which scheduler is being utilized (testing versus vaccination) to ensure the right type of appointment.