DENVER, Colo. — Yesterday, Governor Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the State’s efforts to vaccinate Coloradans. Governor Polis was joined by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist, CDPHE.
Colorado continues making great strides in vaccinating more Coloradans every day. The state has vaccinated 74% of Coloradans ages 70 and older, which is essential for preventing loss of life as this group represents 78% of COVID deaths in Colorado. The state has also vaccinated 59% of all Coloradans aged 65 to 69, and 90% of Colorado’s PreK-12th grade educators and licensed child care workers, which surpasses the goal of vaccinating 75% of educators and child care workers by early March.
“I am proud of Colorado’s efforts to get shots into arms as quickly as possible. With every vaccine, more Coloradans become protected and we get closer to the end of this crisis,” said Governor Polis. “We’ve made tremendous progress, Colorado, but until everyone who wants the vaccine can get it, we must all continue to protect ourselves and others from this virus. Mask wearing and social distancing are still critical.”
Governor Polis also reminded Coloradans who have been fully vaccinated that newly released guidance from the CDC only approves certain activities, like being indoors without a mask with other fully vaccinated individuals or visiting with unvaccinated people from one other household indoors if everyone in the other household is at low risk for severe disease. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine. The CDC’s guidelines for vaccinated individuals still encourage everyone to wear masks and practice social distancing while in public. when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19.
Governor Polis also provided an update on a letter he sent along with Oregon Governor Kate Brown to the Food and Drug Administration encouraging the FDA to permit vaccine pooling for the COVID vaccine. If approved, this technique would allow medical professionals to take small amounts of leftover vaccine doses from one vial and combine it with another vial to produce one full vaccine dose. This would prevent waste of vaccine doses and also speed up Colorado’s ability to get more shots into arms, while still ensuring the vaccine is effective and safe.
Dr. Herlihy provided an update on Colorado’s response to the new South African variant of COVID-19, which was found in Chaffee County.
“Vaccines continue to play a significant role in protecting against the variant and continue to offer substantial protection, especially against severe disease. As always, everyone should continue to wear masks, practice physical distancing, wash hands frequently, and get the vaccine when it is their turn,” said Dr. Herlihy.
View today’s press conference.
For more information on how to sign up to receive the vaccine, please visit www.cocovidvaccine.org or call 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926).