DENVER (KDVR) — By the end of the month, COVID vaccines will be offered through more traditional healthcare settings like doctor’s offices and pharmacies, not through state-run drive-up sites.
As part of the state’s “Roadmap to Moving Forward,” which shifts the response from pandemic to endemic, those larger sites will be closing.
“We want to normalize this. So, the majority of the population doesn’t receive their flu shot in a parking lot, you go to your local pharmacy, you get it when you are at your doctor’s office, and we really want to see COVID become more normal like that, embedded in the traditional healthcare system,” said Scott Bookman, the Colorado COVID-19 incident commander.
Nearly 2,000 provider locations across the state have enrolled in the COVID vaccination program, including pharmacies and doctor’s offices.
“We pediatricians and primary care providers are very excited about this,” said Dr. Dan Feiten with Greenwood Pediatrics. “I think it’s a sign to all of us that we are returning to normal. We are getting back to that pre-pandemic state that we all have been hoping for,” he said.
Greenwood Pediatrics has been offering the vaccine for the past few months. Feiten said he believes this is a good system. “I think it’s just going to be much more comfortable. There’s going to be more information provided to the patients,” he said.
Pharmacies will also be a go-to place for patients, just as they are for flu shots.
Julie Prince is the divisional director of clinical pharmacy for HealthONE.
“Anything that we’ve been doing previously for prevention, we are just rolling in COVID in the same avenue that we’ve done before,” Prince said.
While the big sites will be closing, the state will continue to use mobile vaccine buses to operate in hard-to-reach areas.