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First shipment of Moderna vaccine arrived in Colorado Monday

The first phase of vaccinations in Colorado will go to health-care workers. The general public isn't expected to receive a vaccine until summer.

DENVER — The first shipment of the second COVID-19 vaccine to receive emergency authorization in the U.S. arrived in Colorado on Monday.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said the state received 18,600 doses which were distributed to 35 facilities on Monday. Another 82,800 arrived on Tuesday.

This comes a week after health-care workers began to receive the first round of Pfizer vaccinations.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are around 95% effective and require two doses. While the Pfizer vaccine requires extremely cold storage, the Moderna vaccine does not.

> Watch the video above to hear a Colorado doctor share his experience with the COVID-19 vaccine. 

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Last week, after initially anticipating to receive an additional 67,860 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, Gov. Jared Polis’ office said the federal Operation Warp Speed team instead shifted that allocation to 39,780 doses, with 25,740 going to a program for vaccinations at nursing homes and 14,040 going to providers.

There was also good news: Pfizer vaccine vials that were supposed to contain five doses actually yielded a sixth, which Polis’ office said bolstered the state’s supply by 20%.

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The state plans to administrator COVID-19 vaccines in three phases. The winter phase began this week with vaccinations for health-care workers and staff at long-term care facilities who regularly interact with novel coronavirus patients.

The second phase will include high-risk individuals and essential workers.

The general public is not expected to get a vaccine until the summer.

As of this writing, there have been more than 300,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Colorado and more than 4,000 deaths among those cases.

A surge in hospitalizations and the state's positivity rate led to heightened restrictions in much of Colorado in late fall, prompting restaurants to close indoor dining and school districts to shift to remote learning. 

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