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Colorado Edition: Anniversary of COVID-19 vaccine availability; vaccine equity across the state

First Covid-19 vaccines arrive and are administered in Colorado.
Helen H. Richardson
/
The Denver Post
Christy Ruffell, manager of clinic nursing standards at UCHealth Medical Center, left, administers the very first Covid-19 vaccine to Kevin Londrigan, a respiratory therapist at UCHealth Medical Center, right, at UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital on December 14, 2020 in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The COVID-19 vaccine first became available in Colorado nearly one year ago, on Dec. 14, 2020. In the year since, millions of Coloradans have gotten vaccinated. But despite that progress, the virus and its variants are still spreading. For an update on how things have changed in the last year — and how they haven’t — we spoke to Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

And while the vaccine rollout initially focused on those who were most at-risk, such as older adults and healthcare workers, eligibility gradually expanded to phase in more people. Even when the vaccine was broadly available, though, not everyone chose to get it — nor was it easily accessible to all. Both access and a lack of trust in the vaccine were noted among some communities of color. To build trust and to help dispel misinformation, a group of medical leaders created the Colorado Vaccine Equity Task Force. As we approach a year after the first dose, we spoke with Dr. Ozzie Grenardo, a member of the task force and the chief diversity and inclusion officer at Centura Health.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and edited by Henry Zimmerman (@kombuchacowboy). Our production team includes Tess Novotny (@tess_novotny). KUNC news director Brian Larson is our executive producer. Web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai.

The mission of Colorado Edition is to deepen understanding of life in Northern Colorado through authentic conversation and storytelling. It's available as a podcast on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC, Monday through Friday at 2:30 and at 6:30 p.m.
 
Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you! Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions.

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KUNC's Colorado Edition is a daily look at the stories, news, people and issues important to you. It's a window to the communities along the Colorado Rocky Mountains.