DENVER — After months of staying home to slow the spread of COVID-19, a vaccine is finally here. But, that doesn't mean the pandemic is suddenly over.
Health officials in Colorado and around the world are working to distribute the vaccine to as many people as possible in a race against a virus that continues to take thousands of lives around the U.S. each day.
This effort has even more urgency due to new strains of COVID-19 that are believed to be even more infectious.
> The video above is from a previous 9NEWS story where 9Health Expert Dr. Payal Kohli discussed the efficacy of current COVID-19 vaccines on new variants of the virus.
Colorado's vaccination plan has three phases. Frontline healthcare workers were the first to receive vaccines, followed by Coloradans over the age of 70. Essential workers -- including teachers and grocery store employees -- are next in line, followed by Coloradans over 60 and those with preexisting conditions.
The general public isn't expected to begin receiving vaccines until the summer.
Officials are targeting vaccinating 70% to 95% of the population in order to achieve "herd immunity," or a level in which COVID-19 can no longer spread in the community.
Different states have different strategies when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Each state is constrained by the supply of the vaccine, which is dictated by what the federal government receives from manufacturers.
Here's a look at the percent of the population who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by state.
Can't see the interactive? Click here.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) updates its vaccine statistics at 4 p.m. each day. Click here for the latest data, which includes a breakdown of the race and gender of who has received a vaccine.
Click here for a look at how to sign up for a vaccine appointment by provider.
Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine or newstips you'd like to share? Text them to 303-871-1491.
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