Colorado Vaccinations

New hope that a “normal” life could be making a comeback?

On Friday, April 2nd, Governor Polis announced that Colorado was now in Phase 2. Not only does this open the vaccine to the general public, but now citizens 16 and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. People 18 and older can receive the Moderna and Johnson-Johnson vaccine’s as well. While this is such great news that the vaccine is opening, there are concerns whether the vaccine is safe or not. A primary concern for many students is getting quarantined. Getting quarantined is basically when students cannot attend school because they have been exposed directly to someone with COVID and must be “quarantined” but two weeks. If they show no symptoms, they may return after 2 weeks. However, if one tests negative and submits the results to the school, they may come back to school as soon as the day after. However, students who participate in extracurriculars such as sports cannot attend big tournaments and games and practices if they get quarantined. Seniors might end up missing prom. As Wish Week is happening, many students are missing this week of fun. As a result, many are wanting to get the vaccine because if one receives the vaccine, they cannot get

quarantined.Woman receiving the vaccine from her car, showing how quick and efficient the process is. Photo Credits: Greeley Tribune

This also brings a sense of comfort to people who are or know people who are vulnerable to COVID. However, with the rising number of COVID cases in schools, people who have taken one dose of the vaccination are worried that if they get COVID before their second vaccination, they have to start over their vaccination cycle. So, people are desperate to get both doses of their vaccine as soon as possible to avoid getting quarantined and having to restart their vaccination cycle. Governor Polis announced that this marks a new era in the fight against COVID, also known as the Phase 2 era, which was predicted to come by mid-April. One thing that Governor Polis mentioned was that the lack of supply cannot keep up with urgent demand. Especially now that there is a whole new, younger group of people who also want to get the vaccine, the issue lies in that there aren’t enough vaccines, so people have to wait a little longer. This clashes with the idea that people want to get vaccinated as soon as possible without waiting. Polis says that he assumes that in mid to late May, everyone who wants a vaccination will have gotten one by then. In the last week, Colorado has received 422,000 vaccinations. In the next two weeks, it has been predicted that Colorado will receive up to 372,000 more vaccines. Numbers may vary and increase as Johnson and Johnson releases more of their vaccines potentially. On March 19, Colorado moved to Phase 1B.4 for vaccination which consists of people 50 or older, and essential workers like restaurant workers, postal workers, faith leaders, manufacturing employees, and journalists. People who also have a single health risk, more than the previous required two, are eligible to get the vaccine as well now. Another community vaccination site is also opening at the Ball Arena site, making it the sixth community vaccination site.

Vaccination site in Denver. Photo Credits: CBS

The Ball Arena site opened on April 1. The other five vaccination sites were at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City; the Grand Junction Convention Center in Grand Junction, the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, the Ranch Events Complex Loveland, and at the State Fairgrounds, Pueblo. Denver Health is continuing to work hard to make the vaccine more accessible. Governor Polis announced that this time of mass vaccination with vaccine buses and mass vaccination sites will probably be gone by June as Polis estimates by then that all the people who want the vaccine will have gotten fully vaccinated during the time. While the general public may get the vaccine, those 70 and older as well as 60 and older are still being prioritized. 1,579,599 Coloradans have been vaccinated with their first doses while 999,618 Coloradans have been fully vaccinated. 70% of Coloradans 60 and over have been vaccinated. This means that 79% of Coloradans 70 and over, 71% of people 65-69, and 53% of people 60-64% have been vaccinated. However, as scientists are still running clinical trials for children, it is a while before children will be able to get vaccinated legally. With more and more people getting vaccinated, there’s hope that life from a year ago could come back. A life that is full of no masks, no social distancing, concerts, in-person school, no quarantines, and living with a sense of normalcy again is in sight because of this vaccine.

Story by: Joey Jung, '23