Vaccinations Progressing, but Availability Limited

1/25/21

San Juan Basin Public Health officials say they're making progress on COVID vaccine distribution, but until supplies ramp up, vaccinations for the entire Southwest Colorado population may take longer than anticipated.

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San Juan based in public health officials

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say they've administered

the first COVID vaccinations

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to nearly all frontline healthcare workers

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in La Plata and Archuleta Counties

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but limited supplies are

hindering progress on vaccinating

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those next in line.

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You're watching the local

news network brought to you

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by Krieger's ACE hardware in Durango.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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The number of confirmed

COVID-19 cases continues to rise

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in La Plata and Archuleta county,

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with nearly 200 cases reported

the second week of January,

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in what public health officials

say is a post holiday spike,

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from Christmas gatherings

and new year's eve parties.

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So far, La Plata County

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has had a total of nearly

2,600 confirmed cases

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and Archuleta County 560 cases

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since the pandemic hit Colorado

on March 4th last year.

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That's the bad news.

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The good news is that vaccinations

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against the virus are underway,

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although supplies are limited.

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Currently we are concluding phase 1A

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in Southwest Colorado,

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which is our high risk healthcare workers.

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Phase 1A also includes our

long-term care facilities.

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All of the long-term

care facilities and staff

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in Southwest Colorado have

received their first dose

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and we're just waiting

on the second doses.

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So, we're substantially

complete with phase 1A.

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We've made a lot of

progress into phase 1B,

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especially the groups that were

originally part of phase 1B,

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our moderate risk health care workers

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and our first responders.

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Just this week, I think

this week in La Plata County

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and last week in Archuleta County,

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we had the first doses for

members of the general public

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aged 70 and older.

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That is a very, very large category.

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It's thousands of people

in Southwest Colorado

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so it is going to take

some time to complete.

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The good news is we have new providers

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getting enrolled to

give shots all the time,

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which means there are more

appointments available,

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more places people can go.

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There's also discussions around

large vaccination clinics.

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The hospitals are getting more doses

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to vaccinate members of the public.

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It's a really exciting time.

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There is a lot to it though

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and it is a very, very

large group of people.

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Vaccine availability

continues to be limited

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by the number of supplies

that we get from Colorado,

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the number of supplies Colorado gets

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from the federal government

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and of course,

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what the federal government

gets from the manufacturers.

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According to the Colorado Department

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of Public Health and Environment,

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Colorado receives only

70,000 vaccines a week

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for the state's 5.8 million residents.

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The state health department

also noted that fewer than 10%

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of La Plata county's 10,000 residents,

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ages 65 years and older, have

received their first vaccines.

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San Juan based in public health

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and other health clinics and organizations

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are now vaccinating

individuals in phase 1B.

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That includes moderate

risk healthcare workers,

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first responders and

residents age 70 and older.

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Frontline essential workers

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and essential state government officials

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will be eligible for

vaccines beginning March 1st.

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Phase two vaccinations

will be administered

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later this spring to residents

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between the ages of 60 and 69,

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higher risk residents

with health complications

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ages 16 to 59,

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essential workers or

local government officials

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not covered in phase 1B

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and residents who received a placebo

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during the vaccination testing period.

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All other residents will

receive vaccines this summer.

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You can sign up for email notifications

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to learn when vaccinations are available

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for your eligibility group

at sjbpublichealth.org.

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Thanks for watching this edition

of the Local News Network.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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