State focusing on prioritizing vaccinations, getting doses to rural communities

COVID-19 Vaccine

DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis is determined to get shots in arms. He said 6% of the state has received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“In order to vaccinate more people, we need more vaccines. And we depend entirely on the federal government for the weekly supply,” Polis said. “We want a vaccine for every Coloradan right now but to put things in perspective, we’re expecting about 83,000 next week. There are 5.7 million Coloradans.”

After President Joe Biden signed 10 executive orders on Thursday to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine production and battle the pandemic, Polis is hoping for a significant increase. One action was to assign each state a point person to communicate with the federal government in order to create better process for inoculation.

“We’re hopeful that the number of vaccines will increase in the coming weeks,” Polis said. “It will probably be around 83,000 for two weeks, is our best estimate, then we’re hoping for a modest increase.”

Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock have been emphasizing getting the vaccine to underserved communities. Polis said that 10% of the weekly allocation is focused on getting the vaccine to hard-to-reach places.

The governor’s office provided this video as a way to encourage Coloradans to get the COVID-19 vaccine if eligible now and for those when it is widely available.

The majority of the state has experienced a decline in coronavirus cases in the last two weeks. One exception is Pitkin County who moved to Level Red as cases were spiking.

Polis said in news conference earlier in the week that 1 in every 5 Coloradans over the age of 70 would be vaccinated this week.

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