DENVER (KDVR) — The first shipments of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Colorado starting Monday, according to officials with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
The estimated 96,000 shipments will arrive from Dec. 21-23. The FDA approved the Moderna vaccine for emergency use Friday, just four days after the first Coloradans started receiving the Pfizer vaccine.
Colorado is still in phase 1A of its distribution plan, meaning high-risk health care workers are still at the front of the line to receive the vaccine. Residents and staff of long-term care facilities are next in this first phase. That population is set to receive the Pfizer vaccine starting around Dec. 28.
According to the CDPHE, doses will not be shipped directly to long-term care facilities. Instead, they will go to CVS and Walgreens pharmacies. Pharmacy staff will then provide onsite COVID vaccinations to residents and staff in long-term care and assisted living facilities.
The CDPHE designated 151 facilities across the state to receive the Moderna vaccine. About a quarter of those facilities were also selected to receive the Pfizer doses. The Moderna vaccine is expected to be simpler, as it does not require the same ultra-cold freezer for storage.
The state is still working out details of how the vaccine will be distributed once available to the general public. Dr. Scott Joy, an internal medicine doctor with Englewood Primary Care, says they’ve been asked by the state whether they would be interested in eventually becoming a site for the vaccine. He says there is some hesitancy involved as vaccines continue to be developed.
“I don’t think the primary care practices are going to want to invest in special refrigerator units. Practices want to understand what products are going to be available over the next few months,” Joy said.
The CDPHE does not have specific dates or times for when the Moderna doses will be delivered to each location.