This article first appeared in the Vail Daily on January 6, 2020.
Vail Health began administering COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday to the local patient population ages 70 and older.
Vail Health received 1,600 doses in the first allotment of the Moderna vaccine for the 70-and-over age group, said Sally Welsh, Vail Health’s public relations director, on Tuesday.
Welsh said while the hospital’s Jan 6-8 and Jan. 13 appointments filled quickly, “there will be many other opportunities, estimated at a weekly cadence.”
“There is limited advance notice of when or how many doses Vail Health will receive, and the demand for vaccines currently extends beyond what is available,” Welsh said in an email. “Vail Health asks for the continued patience from community members as we work with public health to administer the vaccines.”
People who had reached out to Vail Health asking for the vaccine were added to a waitlist for anyone 70 and older; that group was notified as soon as time slots became available.
Vail Health said time slots filled up quickly once word spread within the community that people could register online.
The hospital has added more information to its COVID-19 vaccine page on VailHealth.org, including a registration link. All information, including the link for those eligible to register for a timeslot as they become available, can be found at https://www.vailhealth.org/vaccine. People with questions may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
4,400 Community Members by Wednesday
Vail Health is one of 279 vaccine providers in Colorado currently, and is also a hub used to distribute vaccines to other locations.
Eagle County Public Health also received 530 doses this week, and appointments for those immunizations filled in minutes Monday.
As of Tuesday, 120,510 people in Colorado had been immunized with a first dose.
Two doses are required, and the same vaccine product must be used for both doses. To support this effort, the CDC will “reserve and stagger the delivery of the state’s weekly allocation to ensure that providers will have enough of the same product for their patients’ second doses at the appropriate time,” according to the Colorado Department of Public Health.
Vail Health CEO Will Cook said between Eagle County and Vail Health, more than 4,400 community members will have been vaccinated by the end of next week.
“This is an exciting moment in history, as our country, state and county have never undertaken a mass vaccination rollout process of this magnitude,” Cook said, in an email. “Our teams are adjusting as quickly as possible, and the number of community members vaccinated is rapidly increasing … We continue to do everything we can to work with Eagle County and the State to distribute the vaccine rapidly and efficiently within our community according to the guidelines outlined by the State.”