Slowly But Surely, Colorado Plans To Open Mass Vaccination Sites

The state’s six big sites will open in a staggered way. On Wednesday, 2,000 doses were given out at the Broadmoor World Arena to people in the current 1.B3 phase. It will be a pattern for upcoming openings at other big sites, including Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Monday.

The topic for some on Saint Patrick’s Day was vaccinations as Colorado readies to open its next phase Friday. At the Celtic on Market bar, manager Adam Murphy talked about his upcoming vaccination after a long wait.

“I think it’s going to be great for business. Hopefully we’ll be able to get rid of the masks soon because it’s not a lot of fun dealing with people in masks.”

Owner Noel Hickey has an appointment for Monday. He’s been helping find resources to get vaccinated.

“I’ve got some websites where people are having some success.”

He’ll be glad to turn the corner after worrying about his workers getting exposed to the virus for months.

“Really what their concerns are now that things are opening up that they are coming into contact with somebody who has it.”

Gov. Jared Polis was there.

“We now have the ability every day to do up to 6,000 vaccinations here. Now currently we’re doing about 2,000 a day, but this is really designed to make it easy, quick, the vaccine’s free.”

The state knows it will have to gear up large sites as vaccine doses are expected to increase a great deal in coming weeks. The addition of the 1.B4 category of people 50 years and older and others like restaurant and transportation workers and people working in close manufacturing will mean great demand.

All of the sites are expected to increase to 6,000 doses a day after initially opening at a lower figure. The sites will at first attempt to run three days a week, but state planners hope they can all increase to six days a week.

“It will be available for everybody of any age in early April. And we have to be able to have these sites on line to meet that promise,” said Polis.

Some in the category starting Friday were finding they were already able to sign-up and get an appointment with some of the providers.

Three of the sites will be run by Centura Health, including the one at the World Arena, the one at the Pueblo Fairgrounds and the one at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.

At Dick’s, Centura will start slow.

“On Monday, March 22, we will be administering 500 first doses of the Moderna vaccine. On the following two days, March 23 and March 24, we expect to administer 1,750 doses each day, also Moderna first dose. Our plan is to reopen the vaccine clinic Sunday through Wednesday (March 28 to 31), 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” said Jennifer Wills, Vice President of Communications/Chief of Staff at Centura Health in a statement via email.

The last site likely to open will be at Ball Arena. The state says it is still working to finalize a contract with a health care provider partner. It is planning to open the site on April 1. Again, with fewer doses at first and more soon after.

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