DENVER, Colorado — Six weeks after Colorado received its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine, University of Colorado Hospital (UCHealth) conducted the state's first mass COVID vaccination drive-through at Coors Field, open only to individuals age 70+ with an appointment.
Through a state partnership with UCHealth, the Colorado Rockies and the City and County of Denver, 500 existing UCHealth patients and 500 new sign-ups were chosen through a lottery and given appointments for Sunday's vaccine drive-through clinic.
Within two hours Sunday morning, all 1,000 vaccines had been administered, according to UCHealth officials.
"It’s better than what we had planned for," said Dr. Richard Zane, chief of emergency medicine at UCHealth. "We planned to be able to do 5,000 in a day, and it looks like we’ll probably be able to do 8,000 in a day depending on the amount of daylight and supply."
During the clinic Sunday, Zane said the intent is not just to vaccinate large numbers of people in a short period of time in the Denver metro area, but to also learn how to do it effectively and efficiently so that other health partners in Colorado can recreate their mass vaccine model.
"We’re thinking about how to learn from an event like this and put together a playbook so that it can be reproduced by other people in other places," Zane said.
UCHealth was taking notes on what worked Sunday, as the hospital system prepares to host another vaccination drive-through 10 times this size next weekend.
"Next weekend we were planning on doing 10,000 vaccinations over Saturday and Sunday. This is clearly one of the solutions to get a large swath of the population vaccinated," Zane said. "There is no waiting and we’ve gotten a lot of people vaccinated in a very short period of time."
Those 10,000 have not been notified at this time, but must already be registered with the hospital. An appointment is required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
> Video below: Sky9 aerial footage from Jan. 24.
Those who are not UCHealth patients and who don’t have access to a computer or smartphone can call the UCHealth COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 720-462-2255 to be added to the list. Once on the list, people will get a phone call about scheduling the vaccine.
Of this writing, 355,054 people in Colorado have received the first of two doses and 76,648 have received the second.
To get on UCHealth’s vaccine list, go to uchealth.org/covidvaccine. Anyone can sign up, even those who are not UCHealth patients.
With limited supply of the vaccine in Colorado, they can’t offer appointments to everyone. People 70 and older will be selected at random from the list and offered appointments over the coming weeks.
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