COVID Vaccines In Colorado: Your Always Up-To-Date Guide To Finding The Info You Need

January 6, 2021
The first round of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are distributed at the Denver Indian Center, part of the second wave of prioritized shots in the city. Jan. 8, 2020.The first round of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are distributed at the Denver Indian Center, part of the second wave of prioritized shots in the city. Jan. 8, 2020.Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
The first round of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are distributed at the Denver Indian Center, part of the second wave of prioritized shots in the city. Jan. 8, 2020.

Last updated on Jan. 14 at 2:00 p.m. This page will be updated every day as we learn more information.

What are the different vaccine phases in Colorado? 

State of Colorado
Colorado's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan as of Dec. 30, 2020

As of Dec. 30, Colorado’s vaccine distribution plan is broken down into four sections: Phase 1A, Phase 1B, Phase 2 and Phase 3.

Phase 1A: 
  • Frontline health care workers that have direct contact with COVID-19 patients for 15 minutes or more
  • Staff and residents of long-term care facilities (vaccinated by the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program.) 
Phase 1B:
  • All people 70 and older
  • Health care workers who have less direct contact with COVID patients (like home health care workers, dentists, pharmacists, EMS)
  • First responders (like police, firefighters and correctional workers)
  • Funeral service workers
  • Frontline essential workers* (like teachers, food and agriculture, manufacturing, postal workers, transportation, grocery workers, human services workers, care providers for people experiencing homelessness)
  • Essential state government workers
  • Essential frontline journalists
Phase 2:
  • People 60-69
  • People 16-59 with certain pre-existing conditions or are high risk (obesity, diabetes, chronic lung disease, cancer, immunocompromised)
  • Other essential workers and state government workers
  • Adults who received a placebo during a clinical COVID-19 vaccine trial 
Phase 3:
  • People 16-59

*Essential workers are defined in Colorado’s public health order from March 26, 2020. “Frontline essential workers” are not however defined. 

How are different people prioritized in each phase? 

Right now, we only know how Phase 1 is prioritized. 

On Jan. 5, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment directed public health agencies to focus their efforts on prioritizing vaccination for outstanding highest risk health care workers in phase 1A, along with moderate risk health care workers and first responders in phase 1B.

All other vaccine providers, like hospitals, health systems, pharmacies, clinics and correctional facilities are directed to focus on vaccinating people 70 and older — the first group in Phase 1B.

Once providers finish vaccinating those groups, providers will be ready to vaccinate teachers and other essential workers listed in phase 1B.  

During a Jan. 12 press conference, Gov. Jared Polis said he plans to add Coloradans aged 65 to 69 to the priority list for an early COVID-19 vaccination after the CDC recommended expanded eligibility for protection from the coronavirus.

However, his office later issued a statement clarifying that the state would wait to formally expand eligibility until they had a better idea of how much vaccine would be arriving in Colorado and more concrete arrangements for distributing it.

COVID-VACCINATION-DRIVE-THROUGH-ROCKY-FORDHart Van Denburg/CPR News
A vial of Moderna’s vaccine at the Otero County Health Department’s mass COVID-19 vaccination drive-through clinic for those 70 and older at the Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds in Rocky Ford on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

How long will each phase take? 

Vaccinations in Phase 1 (that includes A and B) are expected to conclude in February, according to a timeline released by Gov. Polis during a Jan. 6 press conference.  

More specifically, the majority of Phase 1A health care workers in the state are expected to be vaccinated by Jan. 15, according to an announcement from CDPHE on Jan. 5.

For the first part of 1B — Coloradans 70 and older — the state's goal is to have 70 percent of that group vaccinated by February 28th.

Frontline essential workers, like teachers will follow, likely in early March.

Vaccinations in Phase 2 are expected to take place in the spring of 2021, and vaccinations in Phase 3 are expected to take place in the summer of 2021.  

What phase is Colorado in right now? 

As of Jan. 14, Colorado is in Phase 1. 

On Dec. 30, Gov. Jared Polis announced that some counties have completed their vaccines for Phase 1A, and were ready to move on to the beginning of Phase 1B and start vaccinating people over the age of 70.

However, vaccine supply in Colorado is still limited — while a county may be ready to move to Phase 1B, it may not yet have enough doses to vaccinate everyone in that group. Polis said it will take 4-5 weeks for all Coloradans over 70 to get vaccinated.

COVID-VACCINATION-DRIVE-THROUGH-ROCKY-FORDHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Rita Maes awoke east 5 a.m. and was the first in line for Otero County Health Department’s mass COVID-19 vaccination drive-through clinic for those 70 and older at the Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds in Rocky Ford on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

How many doses is Colorado getting each week? Why is the vaccine rollout taking so long?

On Jan. 7, the general leading the Colorado's distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine said that the holidays slowed efforts, but that the coming weeks will see a dramatic increase in the number of Coloradans getting injections

In a Jan. 12 press conference, Gov. Polis indicated that each week, Colorado expects to receive around 70,000 vaccine doses, but that's not always what's delivered — and that makes it difficult to plan more than a week in advance.

We reported on Jan. 14 that Colorado has so far received close to 400,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Those are meant for use on frontline healthcare workers, first responders and people over 70. On Jan. 18, Polis announced the state would begin a vaccination blitz to get doses to the most vulnerable residents.

Another 100,000 or so doses have gone to a federal program for vaccinating nursing and other long-term care staff and residents. 

The state is now tracking how many people have been immunized and with how many doses. However, some of the doses now in Colorado is designated for use as second shots.

With about 4.2 percent of Coloradans having received at least one shot, the state ranks in the top 20 percent of the nation for efficiency in getting the vaccine distributed, according to data collected by the New York Times.

I'm over 70 years old. Where can I make a vaccine appointment right now?

Some of Colorado’s largest counties — like Denver, Jefferson, El Paso and the counties that part of the Tri-County Health Department (Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas) — have not indicated they are ready to vaccinate people over 70. You should check with your doctor's office or your provider to be sure.

As of Jan. 14, here are the counties that have started accepting vaccine appointments for adults over 70 as part of Phase 1B. Information about how to make appointments are linked below:

Additionally, Denver Indian Health and Family Services has a limited COVID-19 vaccine supply from Indian Health Services, and is working to vaccinate those over 70. 

Do we need to add to this list? Email us at health@cpr.org

My county isn’t on that list. How do I find out when the vaccine will be available for me? Can I pre-register for an appointment? What’s the process?

It’s not entirely clear yet how or if you’ll be notified — but you can visit your county’s public health website or call them for more information. You can also start following your county’s Facebook page for updates. 

In some counties — Las Animas and Huerfano, Boulder, Broomfield, Grand, Larimer, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Routt, San Miguel and counties in San Juan Basin Public Health to name a few — you can pre-register for a vaccine appointment, or sign up to be notified when the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available for your priority group. 

You can also call the state’s COHELP vaccine hotline, at 303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911. The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Colorado has established a vaccine website to help answer your questions as well. It should be updated as more information becomes available. 

You can also contact your doctor's office, medical provider or local hospital — many are accepting appointments and contacting current patients. Here's how:

Statewide:

Front Range:

North:

East

South

Southwest:

West:

As of Jan. 14, here are the Kaiser Permanente locations providing the vaccine — to both members and non-members:

  • Aurora Centrepoint Medical Offices
  • Briargate Medical Offices
  • Highlands Ranch Medical Offices
  • Lakewood Medical Offices
  • Lone Tree Medical Offices
  • Longmont Medical Offices
  • Loveland Medical Offices
  • Parker Medical Offices
  • Pueblo North Medical Offices
  • Rock Creek Medical Offices
  • Skyline Medical Offices
  • Westminster Medical Offices
  • Wheat Ridge Medical Offices


Editor's Note:
 A limited number of CPR News journalists have started to receive vaccinations according to the state's prioritization of essential frontline workers.