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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (KDVR)— UCHealth is now offering COVID vaccinations to current patients over the age of 70. Eligible patients are chosen through a lottery system and notified through the patient portal notification system.

Patricia Rotharmel is one of the patients who got vaccinated at the vaccination clinic at UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital on Monday. “I didn’t feel anything,” she said after getting the shot.

The 78-year-old from Highlands Ranch is a retired nurse. She says she became quite emotional when she received her email notification.

“I was so excited, and I cried,” she said. This is also meaningful for Patricia’s husband, John. He was vaccinated Monday, as well.

In the middle of the pandemic John battled lymphoma, and had six months of chemotherapy. “I’m doing good. I’m in remission,” he said.

The couple has been unable to see family for so long, and they hope this vaccine will be a turning point in their lives, bringing a sense of hope. “Hope that the future is going to be bright,” Patricia said.

Dr. Jean Kutner, the Chief Medical Officer at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, says healthcare workers share that same hope.

“Hope that every shot in an arm we get, is one less patient we will see in that COVID critical care unit,” Kutner said. Her hospital administered 1,100 vaccines on Saturday alone. She says the patient portal notification system is working well for those who use it. Staff will plan outreach to those who don’t.

“As vaccine supply comes into the state we want to get it out to people,” Kutner said. UCHealth is not accepting walk-ins to their vaccine clinics. If you are not a UCHealth patient, doctors say you should reach out to your provider for a vaccine plan.