WESTMINISTER, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado hit a big milestone this week when leaders announced more than 70% of eligible Coloradans have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In an effort to get more shots into arms, the governor unveiled a new plan on Thursday. The state is prepared to dish out a significant amount of monetary relief to area doctors’ offices, hoping to help them deal with a potential increase in demand.
“What we’re announcing today is a new program to support our doctors, our family practices, our pediatricians in really being able to do the outreach that they need to better serve the community to increase the vaccination rate among those that, for whatever reason, haven’t been vaccinated yet,” Polis said at a press conference Thursday.
The new program will give primary care facilities between $60,000 and $120,000 to help administer the doses. The amount given will depend on the size of the practice:
- Practices with one to three primary care physicians can receive up to $60,000 in grant money
- Practices with four to eight primary care physicians can receive up to $90,000 in grant money
- Practices more than nine primary care physicians can receive up to $120,000 in grant money
The money is set to help the clinics with everything from vaccine supplies to storage to community outreach. Family physician Dr. Aaron Shupp hopes the money can help prevent doctor burnout.
“This new grant program for primary care practices to give the vaccine in their own clinics is exciting for its potential to provide potential points of access for patients to get vaccinated,” Shupp said. “Making sure we have the resources to continue to provide that, especially as the demand may increase with boosters. I think this grant program can be very helpful in being able to pay our staff for all the additional work that’s required to do this.”
The first-come, first-serve dollars will go out on a rolling basis until CDPHE runs out of the federal money. The governor encouraged doctors to get on board now.
“Hopefully, practices will get the resources they need to do additional vaccine outreach within a matter of days or weeks. That application is now open. We’re really excited,” Polis said.
On top of upcoming boosters, the governor said the program is being rolled out now ahead of more employers mandating vaccinations, as well as the pending emergency usage clearance to give the vaccine to children aged 5-11, which could happen as soon as next month.
You can learn more about the program and how you can sign up here.