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State to hold vaccination clinics dedicated to restaurant workers next week

The clinics will be held in Denver, Larimer, El Paso and Summit counties.

DENVER — Health officials are planning to hold a series of COVID-19 vaccination clinics for Colorado restaurant workers next week as the state moves into a new vaccine distribution phase.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the Vaccine Task Force and Equity Outreach Team collaborates with the Colorado Restaurant Association, Eat Denver, and local chambers of commerce to put on the clinics.

There will be four clinics located in Larimer, El Paso, and Summit counties on March 23, CDPHE said, and a site in Denver will host clinics on March 22 and 23.

While most specific event locations have not been released, Denver's clinics will happen in the parking lot next to Attimo Wine: 2246 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205. Appointments are required.

The restaurant's owner and founder, Jon Schlegal, has been working for months on plans to hold a restaurant-specific vaccine event.

"We were able to hustle and wave our hands and wave our flags and say, 'we can do this,'" Schlegel told 9NEWS. "We throw parties for a living. Let us throw a vaccine site here. Let us throw a pop up!"

He finally got state and city approval on Thursday.

"We’re going to have...tents that will be numbered with a different restaurant name. So, we’ll ask you to go to Tavernetta on the far corner to get your vaccine, or you can head over to Mercantile; over here will be Chook."

Credit: Attimo Wine

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According to the Colorado Restaurant Association, the state's foodservice industry employs 285,000 people working at 11,800 eating and drinking establishments.

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Friday marks the beginning of vaccination Phase 1B.4, which includes people 50 and older and frontline workers in several fields, including food service, education, manufacturing, public transit, journalism and people serving in various government roles. Those 16 to 49 years old with one eligible high-risk condition will also be eligible, as well as adults who received a placebo in a COVID-19 vaccine trial.

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The state reached its goal of vaccinating 70% of Coloradans 70 and over at the end of February.

Gov. Jared Polis said he expects the vaccines to be available to the general public by mid-April.