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Shots on Skis: Arapahoe Basin hosts vaccine clinic on the slopes

Summit County Public Health partnered with the ski area to give out 200 vaccine doses as skiers and snowboarders got to the lift on Sunday.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — As supply starts to surpass demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado, health departments are searching for ways to get shots in the arms of more of their communities. As ski season wraps up in Summit County, that means bringing shots to the slopes.

Arapahoe Basin and Summit County Public Health teamed up Sunday to give out 200 shots of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine right at the base of the ski area. The clinic was set up on the mountain so people could get their shot between runs. Everyone who got their vaccine got a voucher for a Bloody Mary, too. Director of Mountain Operations Tony Cammarata helped organize the event after a successful flu shot clinic last fall. 

"Do a couple runs, get a vaccine, get a bacon Bloody Mary. It just seemed like the A-Basin thing to do," Cammarata said.

The goal of the clinic was to reach a group of people that had been putting off getting their vaccine. Dylan Berwyn is one of those people. The Summit County native hopped in line after seeing how many other skiers were getting shots Sunday.

"There was definitely a big piece of skepticism that I had for a long time, just all the misinformation that's being spread," Berwyn said. "I feel like I'm with a group of people that I trust in a place that I've always trusted, it's just for the greater good overall."

RELATED: Poll: Most in US who remain unvaccinated need convincing

Jake Wilson also got his shot at A-Basin Sunday. He said he had put off getting vaccinated because he didn't have time between work and enjoying the end of the ski season. Sunday's clinic was the best way for him to get the shot at a time that worked for him. 

"I’m getting vaccinated here at A-Basin. Shredding, having some Bloodies, having fun with my friends," Wilson said. "Anything and everything happens at the Basin and I’m so glad that it did happen at the Basin."

Berwyn says this was the best way for him to get vaccinated, too.

"Ski resort dude. You can have fun before, have fun afterwards," Berwyn said. "It needs to be normalized, you know. We need a more normal setting where people can feel comfortable."

For the Arapahoe Basin crew, this is a way to thank the skiers and snowboarders for sticking with them through a tough year of changes and restrictions.

"There’s been a lot about this past year that’s been surreal. I’m just happy that as a community we’re all here together now and moving forward," Cammarata said. "This is going to be the season that we all look back on and say, hey, if we were able to get through that, nothing is going to stop us."

Arapahoe Basin says they're hoping to host another clinic after Sunday's success. The ski area is planning to stay open until June 6th.

RELATED: You can now get your vaccine at a Red Rocks concert

RELATED: Improvements, including new lift, coming to A-Basin


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