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Colorado says people should not make vaccine appointments with Vitae Care. Here's why

Vitae Care seemed to have many open COVID vaccine slots. Things got complicated when the state told us it hasn't yet approved the company as a vaccine provider.

DENVER — The Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) advised this week that people should not currently make COVID-19 vaccine appointments with Vitae Care, which works primarily as a home health agency in the state.

Vitae Care has applied but not yet been approved to offer these vaccinations, CDPHE told 9NEWS, despite the company’s website showing many open vaccine appointments starting as early as next week.

Three Vitae Care locations, two in Denver and one in Fort Morgan, have been slated to offer these vaccines, per the Vitae Care appointment page, which remains active as of Thursday.

One location has a listed address of 201 Steele St. in the Cherry Creek area. When 9NEWS visited Wednesday, there was not any signage reflecting that Vitae Care has a site there. A man who said he owned the building told 9NEWS the company has never leased from him. The second Denver location, near Evans and Monaco, did have Vitae Care signage and advertises rapid COVID testing.

Google lists Vitae Care’s office address as 700 Colorado Blvd. #283, though that is in fact the address of a UPS Store. The suite number corresponds with a P.O. Box inside, though the UPS employees would not confirm who owned the box.

When 9NEWS stopped by the location in Fort Morgan, a woman who did not wish to speak on camera said the company has plans for drive-up vaccination clinics next week at the Evans and Monaco and Fort Morgan locations.

CDPHE said they have not been able to reach a representative with Vitae Care to discuss their status since Tuesday. Thursday, the Colorado Attorney General's Office reached out to the company on behalf of CDPHE asking that the appointment scheduling page be removed until Vitae Care has permission to administer COVID vaccines.

"CDPHE is very concerned that you are scheduling COVID-19 vaccine administration appointments without being an enrolled provider, and without the ability to order vaccine until you are enrolled," the letter states. "Having to cancel appointments disappoints patients and may erode trust in the vaccination process."

The letter goes on to say that scheduling can resume if the application is approved, but until then, the state is willing to get a restraining order if necessary.

Vitae Care, however, told 9NEWS on Wednesday that they are working closely with state officials:

"We are working closely with the state and will adhere to the state guidelines. We are looking forward to the finalization of their approval. We did not advertise for these signups. This was an internal error. The signup sheet will go offline. And [we] will contact anyone who signed up and tell them how they will try to proceed."

CDPHE told 9NEWS that it warns providers not to start offering appointments until that provider knows how much vaccine supply it can expect. In this case, that's particularly difficult without state approval. A representative with Vitae Care's immunization department said Tuesday that they felt confident they could fulfill all scheduled appointments.

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