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Gov. Polis Expects All Colorado Adults Will Be Eligible For Coronavirus Vaccine By Mid-April

Office of Gov. Jared Polis
Gov. Jared Polis signs for a package containing Colorado's first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines on Dec. 14, 2020, in a still frame taken from a livestream on the governor's Facebook page.

Gov. Jared Polis says he expects all Coloradans ages 16 and up will be eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine starting in mid-April.

The timeline is more aggressive than the May 1 deadline President Joe Biden set for states to expand vaccine eligibility to all adults.

Polis says Colorado can beat the president’s deadline with the help of six new mass vaccination sites around the state that can distribute 6,000 doses a day.

"We’re ready to vaccinate more Coloradans faster than ever before. We simply need the vaccine, and the good news from Washington is the vaccine is coming,” Polis said.

He says any Coloradan who wants the vaccine should be able to get their first dose by the end of May.

He also announced that residents ages 50 and up and frontline workers like restaurant employees will be eligible March 19, two days earlier than expected.

Essential frontline workers should contact their employers about plans to get vaccine appointments, state officials said.

Meanwhile, the state is preparing to take advantage of an increasing vaccine supply at six new mass vaccination sites.

The sites, which are scheduled to open starting next week, will be located in El Paso, Larimer, Adams, Pueblo and Mesa counties.

“We'll start out small, but as soon as we can get that allocation that we can do 6,000 doses a day, we’ll certainly get that ramped up there,” said Scott Sherman, the Colorado National Guard official leading the state’s vaccine efforts.

The updated vaccine timeline has Gov. Polis more optimistic about what the summer season in Colorado will look like.

“I think we’re in for a very strong tourism season,” he said. “And I think we’re very excited and relieved to be getting through this and that June and July timeframe. President Biden said July 4th barbecues in your backyard. And I think absolutely that’ll be something that occurs across our state and across our nation.”

Scott Franz is an Investigative Reporter with KUNC.
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