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Health-care providers, educators given guidance on vaccine distribution

CDPHE urged vaccine providers to continue to prioritize Coloradans over 70, healthcare workers and first responders as the state enters a new phase of distribution.

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) sent letters to vaccine providers and educators Friday providing guidance as the state moves into a new phase of vaccine distribution.

It comes three days before the state moves into Phase 1B.2 and begins vaccinating people age 65 and over, as well as child care workers, teachers and school staff.

According to a release from CDPHE, the letter to vaccine providers from Incident Commander Scott Bookman was part of the state's ongoing communications with providers to ensure that the distribution process is as efficient as possible.

CDPHE said the letter to providers specifies that they should continue to prioritize Coloradans age 70 and up to get vaccinated. It also provides additional information about how pre-K through 12th grade educators and qualified child care providers will receive vaccines.

The letter says through March 5, the state is allocating 30,000 doses per week for child care workers in licensed child care programs, pre-K through 12th grade teachers and school staff.

CDPHE said because of the need to be equitable and because they are unable to completely fill the dosage needed to vaccinate all school district employees at once, they are asking all school districts larger than 5,000 students prioritize their staff and vaccinate one-third of their employees every week until they are finished.

The letter also outlines a vaccine transfer process that ensures vaccines aren't wasted. 

The video above is Gov. Jared Polis' news conference Friday updating Coloradans on the state's new COVID dial framework.

In addition, it clarifies that people do not need to be full-time Colorado residents, or residents of a particular Colorado county, to be vaccinated by enrolled providers.

Finally, the letter introduces a new public health order requiring providers to report data on race and ethnicity in an effort to distribute the vaccine fairly.

The other letter went to superintendents, school leaders and licensed child care providers. 

It asks for patience with public health agencies as they work toward their goal of vaccinating 70% of Coloradans over 70, as well as moderate-risk healthcare workers and first responders.

It says school districts and child care providers should contact enrolled COVID-19 vaccine health care partners or local public health agencies to schedule vaccination clinics, reiterating what the letter to vaccine providers said about allocating 30,000 doses per week for child care workers, pre-K through 12th grade teachers and school staff.

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It also directs school districts, schools and child care providers that need assistance in finding a health care provider to fill out a survey.