DENVER (CBS4) – Governor Jared Polis announced on Wednesday that Colorado’s first round of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations includes 46,800 in the initial order. A second shipment of 95,600 doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine is expected just a week later.

(Credit: CBS)

The state will work to distribute the COVID vaccine to Colorado residents in three phases between now and next summer.

“This vaccine really is the end of the pandemic gateway to normalcy,” Polis said.

These phases include the following groups:

  • Phase 1: Healthcare workers and individuals at greatest risk
  • Phase 2: People at higher risk and key workers
  • Phase 3: General Public

“We say summer and it all assumes we have enough for all the Coloradoans who want it,” said Scott Bookman, COVID-19 incident commander for Colorado.

(Credit: CBS)

“It will be necessary for everyone to work together to achieve this,” said Polis.

The Pfizer vaccine is expected to be approved December 11-14 and ship out within 24 hours. Colorado is expected to receive it between December 13th and 16th. The Moderna vaccine is expected to arrive in Colorado about a week later between December 20 and 24.

“We are ready,” said Polis when speaking of Colorado’s expectation of receiving the vaccine using the test run on Tuesday as an example.

It has already been determined that eight sales locations have been identified in the state. Vail Health, one of these locations, took part in a unique exercise to demonstrate exactly how the precious cargo was planned to be handled.

From a vial of the simulated Covid-19 vaccines, pharmacists will reconstitute the vaccine to produce five doses per vial on December 8, 2020 at Vail Health Hospital.

From a vial of the replicated Covid-19 vaccines, pharmacists will reconstitute the vaccine on December 8, 2020 at Vail Health Hospital to receive five doses per vial. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson / MediaNews Group / The Denver Post via Getty Images)

“The first dose is given and 25 days later you get a second dose of the vaccine and 2 weeks later you are immune,” said Polis.

“All doses are free and every county has access to this vaccine. The first part of the first phase vaccines will be administered at local health authorities, hospitals and health systems. Some of our state-qualified health centers and a small number of pharmacies in the longer term, as more vaccines become available, these administrative locations will need to expand to our safety net clinics, doctor’s offices and other locations of our rural health centers to ensure that everyone has access to this vaccine ” said Bookman.

The state showed maps of the locations where the vaccines are stored, which are top secret.

“We’re going to use a combination of National Guard and medical couriers to actually distribute them to the local level,” said Scott Sherman, general of the Colorado National Guard.

A technician from Vail Health Hospital shows a vial of the mock vaccine Covid-19 on December 8, 2020.

A technician from Vail Health Hospital shows a vial of the mock vaccine Covid-19 on December 8, 2020. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson / MediaNews Group / The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Polis also said that everyone will be treated equally when it comes to receiving the vaccine, according to the risk factors listed in the three phases.

“Every Coloradan is treated fairly. Whether you are in jail or not, whether you are 67 years old or at risk. Wherever you are, you will have access to the vaccine if 67 year olds have access to the vaccine. So no one is punished for being imprisoned and of course no one gets any benefit for being imprisoned, ”Polis said.

Vail Health Hospital pharmacy technician Rob Brown practices measuring the exact dosage for a mock Covid-19 vaccine in the pharmacy's sterile compounding room on December 8, 2020.

Vail Health Hospital pharmacy technician Rob Brown practices the exact dosage of a sham vaccine against Covid-19 in the pharmacy’s sterile compounding room on December 8, 2020. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson / MediaNews Group / The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Polis reiterated that this vaccine will not reduce the risk of coronavirus and that Coloradans must continue precautionary measures.

“So let’s double down for the next few weeks and months, mask around another, it’s like a 50% effective vaccine that we have today, it cuts your chances of getting the virus in half. Stay six feet away from others and do not hold social gatherings outside of your household, ”Polis said. “This is a marathon, we’re going there.”

Polis and first gentleman Marlon Reis recently tested positive for coronavirus and Reis was hospitalized. He has since been released and continues to recover at home.

The state has set up a hotline for COVID-19 vaccine issues at 877-462-2911 and a website at covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine.

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