State aiming to have 70 percent of Colorado’s 70+ population vaccinated by Feb. 28

Gov. Jared Polis during a Jan. 12, 2021 news conference.
Gov. Jared Polis during a Jan. 12, 2021 news conference.(Screenshot from Facebook live)
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 11:11 AM MST
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DENVER (KKTV) - Seventy percent of 70+ will hopefully be vaccinated by the last day of February, Colorado’s governor said Tuesday.

“The biggest joy I get every day is seeing these posts on Facebook or Twitter: ‘I’m 72 and I got this shot!’ or ‘My mom’s 86 and she got the vaccine!’” Gov. Jared Polis said during his weekly news conference Tuesday.

Getting Coloradans in that age group inoculated against the COVID-19 virus is a top priority for the state, Polis and other state officials have said.

“The reason for this is 78 percent of our deaths are people in this age group and 40 percent of our hospitalizations,” Polis said “Once we have these people vaccinated, we will see hospitalizations and deaths decrease.”

Which is why currently, the state will continue to prioritize those 70 and older for these first vaccines ahead of Coloradans in their 60s, despite a recommendation by the CDC to start delivering vaccines to those 65-69 as well.

“Seventies and older are more likely to die from the virus, which is why we’re focusing on them,” Polis said.

However, those in the 65-69 age group won’t be far behind; Polis said the state intended to add them to the vaccine rollout in the coming days, with a start date in the next few weeks.

“We of course will be adapting our guidance; we’ll announce that in a few days. It’ll take place in a few weeks because we don’t want to squeeze out an 82-year-old for a 66-year-old. That just, again in 8.2 percent chance of dying over 80, 1 percent chance of dying 65.”

To speed up the vaccination process, UCHealth is hoping to have a mass drive-through clinic in Denver set up by the end of January, which will be giving out 10,000 vaccinations a day.

Watch the governor’s full news conference below.

Colorado COVID-19 update

WATCH: Gov. Jared Polis is giving an update on the state's COVID-19 response, including ongoing vaccinations.

Posted by KKTV 11 News on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

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