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Vaccine rollout in rural Colorado going as smooth as could be expected, providers say

Though they face their own unique challenges given their size.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A month and several tweaks into Colorado's initial vaccine rollout, providers in rural parts of the state say things have gone as well as could be expected.

>> Video above: Demand for COVID-19 vaccines outpaces supply in Colorado

Though rural Colorado has some unique challenges that separate inoculation efforts there from Denver or Colorado Springs, many of the issues in the larger areas apply to the more sparsely populated counties. The limited supply of the vaccine, exacerbated by constant federal reshuffling, makes planning difficult. 

>> Colorado's latest COVID-19 and vaccine numbers.

Repeated changes to the state's vaccine priority list, primarily the abrupt addition of those over 69 years old to the top tier, have caught providers off-guard. There are sure to be more obstacles as more and more people become eligible to receive their shot, but providers remain focused on the current, smaller groups.

"I can't believe how smooth it's been," said Justin Hanel, a pharmacist with Valley-Wide Health System, based in Alamosa and serving southern Colorado. 

He said that his system was focused on avoiding the debacles at clinics elsewhere in America, with long lines and exhausted supplies. That type of negative publicity, or poor planning, would set back planning significantly. 

>> Read the full story on DenverGazette.com

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