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Winter storm delays vaccination appointments, causes confusion

COVID-19 Vaccine

DENVER (KDVR) — Thousands of Coloradans are rescheduling the vaccination appointments as the incoming winter storm cancels vaccine events across the Front Range.

Most major health care systems in the state made the decision to reschedule appointments days in advance, including UCHealth. More than 3,000 appointments originally scheduled for Saturday and Sunday were rescheduled for people to receive their second doses.

Dr. Richard Zane, chief innovation officer for UCHealth, said about 1,000 of those people were able to receive their doses Friday and the remaining 2,000 have been rescheduled for the next week.

“I think it’s really important that we reassure patients and they know that this delay in the second dose will have zero impact on their immunity. Everyone who has been scheduled for a second dose will get a second dose,” said Zane.

UCHealth contacted patients by phone and through their online portal to reschedule appointments. But for Wendy Stone, the process wasn’t straight-forward.

Stone says her 84-year-old father-in-law was scheduled to receive his second dose of the vaccine Saturday morning. She says he received a phone call Thursday canceling the appointment and was not rescheduled, according to his online account with UCHealth.

“I’ve been vaccinated, his son has been vaccinated, his wife has been vaccinated and he’s the oldest one of all of us and he has not been,” said Stone.

By Friday night, UCHealth was working to get Stone’s father-in-law rescheduled for his second dose in the coming week.

Other health care systems used a similar approach to reschedule appointments. Kaiser Permanente rescheduled about 10,000 patients for the same time and location the following weekend. Denver Health started rescheduling patients earlier in the week for new appointments as early as Monday. About 2,400 Denver Health patients are impacted.

Officials with UCHealth and other major hospital systems say the delay in vaccinations will not impact future appointments.

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