UCHealth has now provided the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to over 32,000 people and second doses to an additional 1,000 health care workers.
Vaccines began being offered to people age 70 and older by UCHealth last week and continues to vaccinate those in this group as timely and safely as possible. UCHealth began vaccinating health care providers on Monday, December 14, starting with physicians and staff members who have been providing the most frequent and direct care for patients with COVID-19.
Vaccinations are now being provided for others in the state’s phase 1 group, including those aged 70 and older. The state has a goal to vaccinate 70 percent of those 70 and older by the end of February.
“There currently is not enough vaccine to provide it to everyone, even within the phase 1 groups so to offer the vaccine as fairly as possible, UCHealth is randomly selecting patients who are 70 years old or older to receive invitations,” said UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jean Kutner. “We encourage our patients to watch for these messages, which will allow them to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination,” Jean said.
Anyone less than 70 years old will be notified when vaccinations are available for their respective phase as directed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). UCHealth experts emphasize that it is essential to know that it will take time for the vaccines to be available broadly as the state’s current timeline expects the vaccine to not be available to for general public until this summer.
UCHealth encourages everyone to remain diligent, wash hands, wear masks, watch their distance from others, and avoid gathering with others, even after receiving the vaccine. If anyone has even mild symptoms of COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, they should isolate themselves to avoid potentially spreading it to others and absolutely seek medical care if needed.
“We are aware that many people may not have access to a computer or smartphone and may not be able to create a My Health Connection account,” said Jean. “We are developing plans now to help these people schedule appointments, and we are also planning clinics in underserved areas in our state to specifically offer vaccine to low income and minority communities as well as senior living and assisted living communities,” Jean said.