Looming snowstorm shouldn’t affect COVID vaccine supply, Gov. Polis says

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) – Despite forecasts calling for several inches, possibly feet, of snow headed to Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday there shouldn’t be any interruption to the state’s supply of COVID vaccines.

In a press conference, the governor said Colorado is expecting around 7,000 more doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and 10,000 more doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Polis and Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) also addressed new COVID-19 variants being found in the state. Herlihy said genetic changes in COVID variants could mean some of the antibody treatment in the COVID vaccines could be less effective, which is why it’s still recommended that residents be on guard by continuing to wear masks, social distance and wash their hands frequently.

As for vaccine goals, Polis said 74% of Coloradans age 70 and up have gotten at least their first vaccine shot, and 90% of teachers have also received their first does. He expects the next phase of vaccine distribution to begin around March 21.

“We will be getting about 7,000 [Johnson and Johnson vaccines] in the next week,” Polis said. “In addition, we’ll be getting about 10,000 more Pfizer and Moderna than previously anticipated. I would add that we have plans to use every dose within three days of when we plan to get it.”

The governor also reached out to the FDA about vaccine pooling. If approved, the state could combine leftover doses to make more full doses. The federal government has not given the green light for states to do that yet.

View the video above for the full press conference.

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