New options for Coloradans over 70 to get a COVID vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine

Denver (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis says his main goal is to vaccinate 70% of Coloradans over the age of 70 by Feb. 28.

There are about 530,000 Coloradans in that age group, and the governor says there aren’t enough doses to vaccinate everyone at once.

“Of course, the frustrating thing for anybody’s grandmother, mother or yourself if you are over 70, is not everybody can get it this week, and not everybody can get it next week, because we only get the 70,000 per week,” Gov. Polis said.

But there are some new ways for people over 70 to register for the vaccine.

UCHealth is already reaching out to their patients over 70 with established patient portal accounts. That group will be randomly chosen for appointment times.

But now, the system has opened up appointments for non-patients over 70. To register, go to uchealth.org and click the “COVID-19” button. Then you will be added to the pool.

“Last night we sent out over 600 invitations to seniors over the age of 70 who were not previously UCHealth patients,” said Dr. Richard Zane.

He says UCHealth plans to set up phone lines for people who do not have internet access, and they are planning a large vaccination event.

“By the end of the month, we are going to stand up a very large drive through mass vaccination clinic in Denver,” Dr. Zane said.

Centura Health says it is also extending invitations to patients over 70 with active Centura accounts. That includes 275,000 people.

“This week alone, we’ve extended 7,500 invitations, just in the past 24 hours, to patients age 70 and older based on our vaccine allocation this week,” said CEO Peter Banko.

Banko says Centura will open up appointments for people who are not patients in the coming days as well.

Salud Family Health Centers will continue its community outreach and will host vaccination clinics in Aurora on Thursday and Friday. Pre-registration is required at Saludclinic.org.

 “We’ll have the capacity there to do 500 individuals over those two days,” said CEO John Santistevan.

In an email sent Tuesday evening, Polis’ office said that following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance to expand vaccines to people 65 and older, Colorado’s distribution plan will not change for the time being.

“The state is reviewing the announcement from the Trump administration of their updated guidance as well as actively engaging the incoming Biden administration to understand how they will approach prioritization and supply flow,” Polis’ office said in a statement. “Colorado will not be making any changes to our vaccine program until we can get concrete details on supply quantities, timelines for receiving that supply and engaging our partners who are on the ground administering the vaccine. While the state is not making any changes today, the Polis administration is actively planning how we can scale up and expand eligibility in anticipation for receiving more supply of vaccines.”

Need additional help locating resources on how to receive the COVID-19 vaccine? We’ve got a list of Colorado health providers offering the vaccine and how you can get signed up or contact them for more information:

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