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First Coloradans to get COVID-19 vaccine Monday afternoon

The state health department has identified 46 sites to get the first of the Pfizer vaccines and about 150 sites to get the first of the Moderna vaccines.

DENVER — Colorado will receive its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday morning, the governor's office said Sunday. And the state's first vaccines will be administered to frontline health care workers. 

Gov. Jared Polis will be present for Monday's arrival and administration of the vaccine and will hold events for each, his office said. 

Pfizer said all 50 states will receive some portion of the first round of shipments this week. 

The state expects 46,800 vaccine doses in the first Pfizer shipment and 95,600 doses in the first Moderna shipment, CDPHE said. But it's unclear when the state will receive all of its doses from the first shipments.

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Distribution locations

The state health department on Friday identified the first locations across Colorado that will get the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines based on factors including geography and their willingness to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to other providers in their regions.

Most of the initial sites are hospitals and county public health departments, according to the list released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Most sites will receive only a few hundred doses each from those first shipments. Only nine sites will get 1,000 or more doses of the Pfizer vaccine, according to the CDPHE list.

People who have direct contact with COVID-19 patients for 15 minutes or more, such as emergency room workers and staff at long-term care facilities, will get first priority on being vaccinated. The state released its vaccine distribution plan earlier this week.

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The state expects to get regular vaccine allocations from the federal government on a weekly basis, CDPHE said.

For the Pfizer vaccine, the initial allocation sites must have ultra-low temperature freezers to store, monitor and handle the vaccine, according to CDPHE. That requirement means most of the sites to get that vaccine will be hospitals.

The freezers maintain a temperature of -60 to -80 degrees Celsius. CDPHE said the state has purchased 10 ultra-cold storage units to help with more equitable distribution. Eight of those have been distributed, and the last two will be distributed on Friday, CDPHE said.

The Moderna vaccine, whose first shipment is expected to be distributed shortly after the first of the Pfizer vaccine, doesn't need to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures. That will allow for wider distribution, especially to rural areas, CDPHE said.

The Moderna list includes about 150 locations, many more of which are public health departments and Kaiser Permanente facilities.

According to CDPHE, here are the 46 sites that will get the initial allocation of the Pfizer vaccine and how many doses will go to each site:

  • Animas Surgical Hospital, 115 doses
  • Aspen Valley Hospital, 100
  • Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, 415
  • Children's Hospital Colorado, 4,875
  • Colorado Canyons Hospital and Medical Center, 300
  • Colorado Plains Medical Center, 150
  • Delta County Memorial Hospital, 330
  • Denver Health Medical Center, 2,925
  • Foothills Hospital (Boulder Community), 975
  • Good Samaritan Medical Center, 975
  • Gunnison County Public Health, 300
  • Haxtun Hospital District, 50
  • Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center, 345
  • Littleton Adventist Hospital, 600
  • Lutheran Medical Center, 975
  • McKee Medical Center, 230
  • Medical Center of Aurora, 375
  • Mercy Regional Medical Center, 360
  • National Jewish Health, 975
  • North Colorado Medical Center, 580
  • Pagosa Springs Medical Center, 200
  • Parkview Medical Center, Inc., 1,000
  • Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, 1,950
  • Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center, 975
  • Prowers Medical Center, 175
  • Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, 10
  • Rio Grande Hospital, 50
  • Rose Medical Center, 300
  • Saint Joseph Hospital, 1,650
  • Sedgwick County Memorial Hospital, 115
  • Sky Ridge Medical Center, 975
  • Southwest Memorial Hospital, 300
  • St. Anthony Hospital, 975
  • St. Anthony North Health Campus, 975
  • St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, 180
  • St. Mary's Medical Center, 675
  • St. Thomas More Hospital, 300
  • Swedish Medical Center, 1,950
  • UCHealth Greeley Hospital, 325
  • UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies, 500
  • UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital, 3,900
  • UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, 580
  • University of Colorado Health Memorial Hospital Central, 3,900
  • University of Colorado Hospital Authority, 7,800
  • Vail Health Hospital, 875
  • Valley View Hospital Association, 215
Credit: AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool
Boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are moved to the loading dock for shipping at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020.

Hospitals prepare

For the past couple of weeks, staff at hospitals like Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center have been prepping for the arrival of the vaccine.

“That excitement around it, we’re all feeling it,” said Laura-Anne Cleveland. “We’re all very excited to be part of that first group to partake in it.”

Cleveland is the associate chief nursing officer at Presbyterian St. Luke’s and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.

She said staff spend time each day running through various scenarios and planning for the moment 975 doses of the vaccine arrive.

“Making sure that we have the security in place to protect the vaccine, and also looking at the process in which we get the first group of people vaccinated," she said.

Cleveland said if the vaccine is delivered Monday, the hospital planned to begin administering doses on Wednesday.

“It’s been a long road," she said. "That vaccine kind of gives us hope that there is an end in sight.”

For more information on the state's vaccine distribution plan and which groups are prioritized to receive the vaccine first, visit the CDPHE's vaccine webpage.

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