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More than 38,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Colorado as of Tuesday evening

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.(El Paso County Public Health handout photo)
Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 5:45 PM MST
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DENVER (KKTV) - As of Tuesday evening, nearly 40,000 people in Colorado have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s vaccine dashboard, 38,666 vaccines doses have been administered throughout the state as of Tuesday. The data dashboard is updated daily at 4 p.m.

On the west side of the state, Montrose County announced the first vaccine recipients at Montrose Memorial Hospital were Dr. Alexis Garza, MMH Co-Emergency Medical Director and Veronica Ramirez, MMH Environmental Services Technician.

“This vaccine is our ticket to freedom. This vaccine will help our community and the entire nation return to events, concerts, and all the things we love,” said Montrose County Public Health Medical Advisor Dr. Joseph Adragna, MD, MHA, MGH. “Many of you have done the right thing and helped protect our community by wearing masks, keeping your distance, washing your hands, and staying home when sick. We have more one hurdle to make it through this pandemic. Please help the entire community by getting vaccinated when you are able. Vaccinate to help save lives and save jobs ... today we go on the offensive.”

Multiple veterans received the COVID-19 vaccine at the Veterans Community Living Center at Fitzsimons in Aurora.

“Colorado has a proud military history and with that history comes a responsibility to care for our veterans, many of whom are older -- especially in the face of a pandemic that has put many at highest-risk of becoming several ill, or sadly, losing the battle to COVID-19,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “We are now able to vaccinate those whose legacy has been risking their own lives in the line of duty to save ours, and I was honored to be in Aurora today as our residents and staff of the Fitzsimons facility start to receive the vaccine. Together, we can start climbing out of this public health crisis.”

The first two residents of Fitzsimons to receive the vaccine today were Melvin Menard, a Marine veteran, and Phil Ross, an Army veteran.

Menard, 88, is a Marine veteran and Purple Heart recipient who served in the Korean war. The governor’s office says that when he was presented the opportunity after the Korean War to go home, he stated, “I decided to stay in the Marines until they officially signed the peace treaty.”

Ross, 73, is an Army veteran who served in Vietnam.

“I would do anything to help anyone during this pandemic. I am passionate about making things better for everyone,” Ross said of what getting the vaccine meant to him.

One week after El Paso County received the first shipment of Pfizer vaccines, the county received a shipment of 300 Moderna vaccines.

“It is exciting to see our frontline heroes getting timely access to the vaccine, which will help them be able to continue caring for their patients,” said Dr. Robin Johnson, El Paso County Public Health medical director. “This is a monumental effort taking place in our community, and it is a testament to the strength of El Paso County’s response.”

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