Polis: Colorado still on track to vaccinate majority of seniors by March

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DENVER | COVID-19 vaccines are trickling into the state with little notice of how many will show up each week, but Gov. Jared Polis said he still believes people 70 and older should be able to receive a dose by March. 

One in 5 seniors in Colorado can expect to be vaccinated this week, he said. The bad news, Polis continued, is that the majority of Coloradans in that age group won’t be vaccinated within the next week. 

That may change as more vaccine becomes available and Polis and others urge the Biden administration to operate more transparently about vaccine distribution. Now, states only get a few days notice of how many vaccines they can expect for the upcoming week. 

Polis said during a Tuesday news conference he’d like to see a two-week notice from the federal government. 

“We will use every dose we get,” he said. 

Second-shot doses are now being moved up for first doses and the state will “backfill” those second shots, Polis said. 

A little more than 5% of the state population have been vaccinated now, but the plan relies mainly on how much vaccine the state gets. 

Polis said partnering with a bevy of health clinics across the state, such as Salud in Aurora, ensures doses are distributed equitably and to regions where fewer people have health insurance or access to care.

“We’re not getting enough vaccines anywhere in the state,” he said. 

In the meantime, Polis urged Coloradans to continue limiting contact with people not from their household, wearing a mask in public and practicing good hygiene. 

In what Polis touted as good news, the rate of positivity among those tested for COVID-19 fell below 5% this week for the first time in months. That number has been the baseline for state health officials since metrics were incorporated into regulation of state and regional businesses.

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