DENVER (CBS4) – Amid the race to vaccinate Coloradans, the East High School parking lot was converted into a vaccination clinic on Saturday. The clinic was made possible through a partnership between the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Metro Caring, a nonprofit that addresses issues such as hunger and poverty.

Five hundred people had appointments to get their first shot of the Moderna vaccine. Eva Luevano from Denver was one of them.

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“I was hit by COVID last year and it was no fun at all,” Luevano said. “We have to protect ourselves.”

Luevano says she was hesitant to get the vaccine but eventually signed up for the clinic after a family member shared information about it.

“I was nervous, but now I’m so relieved,” she said. “It’s like a normal shot.”

The clinic arrives when a new group of Coloradans are authorized to take their pictures. Phase 1B.3 of the state, which opened March 5, includes those aged 60 and over, key food and frontline workers, and those with two or more serious health concerns.

“We’re just very excited and can’t wait for everyone to come back and get their second shot,” said Erik Hicks, Metro Caring’s chief development officer.

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Hicks said Metro Caring’s weeks of planning for the event included a series of contact efforts to allay people’s concerns about the vaccine. The main focus of the event was on vaccinating people from low-income and colored communities, groups that the nonprofits have served for decades.

“People of color haven’t always trusted health officials and health departments, so we just wanted to make sure we were delivering a safe, equitable experience,” Hicks said. “I think we are a trusted member of our community so it was extremely important for us to obtain and offer this vaccine.”

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That trust is why Hicks will be proud to share with friends and family that he was also vaccinated at the event.

“It is important that these trusted sources not only have the information but can also advocate the community for their safety and health needs,” he said.

Eva Luevano will tell family and friends how seamless the process was on Saturday. For them, the fear of getting COVID again ultimately outweighed any concerns about the vaccine.

“I can’t wait to get my second shot,” she said.

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Metro Caring will have a follow-up clinic so everyone can get their second admissions on Saturday April 3rd. The clinic is by appointment only.