Coloradans get vaccinated
By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Brenda Bushey
All adult Americans should be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination no later than May 1. Working with that deadline in mind, Colorado is currently vaccinating all people who fall under the categories outlined in Phase 1A and Phase 1B. These two phases include anyone age 50 and older, health care workers, frontline workers, educators and child care workers, state government, essential workers and anyone with higher risk medical conditions. To find out specific qualifications visit, https://covid19.colorado.gov/for-coloradans/vaccine/find-out-when-youre-eligible-for-a-covid-19-vaccine.
Becoming eligible and receiving the vaccine are two different phases of the process. According to Colorado’s COVID-19 website, supplies are limited and not everyone who is currently eligible will have access to the vaccine at the same time. There is coordination between local public health agencies, health care providers, pharmacies and diverse community partners to distribute the vaccine equitably and efficiently as possible.
Large community drive-thru vaccination sites are available at places like Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City and at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs. Health care providers like Centura Health, Denver Health, HealthOne and Kaiser Permanente are also registering individuals for the vaccine. As of press time, once registered, individuals were waitlisted for an appointment. Additionally, local pharmacies at Walgreens, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Safeway and King Soopers are administering vaccines. All venues require a scheduled appointment which can be hard to come by.
People searching for providers and appointments nearby can search for online vaccine appointments with these websites: https://www.vaccinespotter.org/CO/ or https://vaccinefinder.org.
Vaccinating the entire adult population in Colorado is a considerable undertaking that requires not only medical staff to administer the vaccine, but also a staff of people to check people in and monitor them once the vaccine is given. Resident Brenda Bushey volunteered at the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL) mass COVID-19 vaccination event on March 6 which took place at the National Western Complex in Denver.
Bushey has experience as a physician’s assistant and as a CPR instructor. This is Bushey’s second volunteering experience; she also volunteered for a 13-hour shift at another vaccination event in February. Bushey said her role as an observer was to assess and possibly treat any adverse reactions people had after they received their vaccination.
“We asked people to wait 15-30 minutes after they received their vaccine, depending on their previous medical history. There were hundreds of volunteers doing various roles. The goal was to vaccinate 500 people per hour to reach the final goal of vaccinating 5,000 people. The goal was met for distributing the first vaccine,” Bushey said.
Bushey added, “One woman who came to get vaccinated turned 105 years old on March 5th! She was extremely happy to receive her vaccinations. Everyone was feeling a sense of relief and expressed so much gratitude to SCL for providing this opportunity.”