Coloradans COVID-19 vaccine questions answered

Many Coloradans have questions about COVID-19 vaccines as the state undertakes its mass vaccination campaign. The Denver Post is working to answer those queries, starting with our first installment since we asked readers of the Post’s health newsletter, Checkup Denver, what they wanted to know.

Sign up for Checkup Denver to receive the latest coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine news straight in your inbox. You can also submit vaccine questions here.

Do you have to be a full-time resident to get the COVID vaccine in Colorado?

No. The state health department does not require that people show proof of residency.

Some counties were prioritizing residents because of limited supply of vaccine, but again, the health department is urging them not to ask for residency documents. Gov. Jared Polis has also said owning a second home in Colorado or being from another county shouldn’t prevent an eligible person from getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

How do health care providers know if I’m eligible?

The state Department of Public Health and Environment is distributing the vaccine in phases. Colorado is still in Phase 1. Because we are still so early in the rollout, only certain individuals have been eligible for the shots. For example, hospitals vaccinated their employees — which were among the first prioritized — and then worked with local agencies to vaccinate first responders.

It’s also important to remember that distribution varies by county and by vaccine provider. Many details are still being worked out, too, as the vaccines are offered to more people.

Many providers have created waitlists for people seeking the vaccine. For example, Kaiser Permanente asks questions, such as your age or if you are an essential worker, to determine which phase you fall under.

On Friday, Polis said teachers, who will be eligible for the shots starting Feb. 8, will receive information on how to get the vaccine through their school districts.

What happens if people don’t have access to the internet to sign up?

Vaccine providers have created hotlines for people without internet access to schedule appointments. The state also has a hotline: 877-268-2926 (CO-VAX-CO).

Here are the numbers to call to schedule an appointment with major health care providers:

  • Centura Health: 866-414-1562 or
  • Denver Health:303-436-7000 or
  • Kaiser Permanente: 1-844-951-1932 or
  • UCHealth: 720-462-2255 or

You can find other providers offering the vaccines here.

How soon after you get the first dose do you need to get the second?

It depends on which vaccine you receive. For Pfizer’s shot, the second dose is given three weeks later, while Moderna’s is given four weeks after the first.

After getting the vaccine, how soon after is it effective?

It can take 1-2 weeks after the second dose of the vaccine to have protection, according to the state health department.

Are vaccines being thrown out in Colorado?

There are two known cases of vaccine going to waste here. In mid-January, a power outage at Kaiser Permanente Lakewood Medical Offices ruined 165 doses of vaccine. The staff was able to save 135 doses by administering shots before the vaccine expired.

Separately, in Pueblo, 300 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine were ruined after a portable storage unit malfunctioned. Pfizer’s shots are very fragile and need to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures.

Join our Facebook group for the latest updates on coronavirus in Colorado.

Source: Read Full Article