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Missing vaccine doses on the way to El Paso County after state health department admits mistake

Published: Feb. 6, 2021 at 9:56 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The important part of this story is CDPHE has promised additional vaccines are on the way to El Paso County after a discrepancy was found in the distribution plan.

There’s also a disagreement between Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and Gov. Jared Polis, but both are still actively working together with the same goal in mind: get more shots in more Coloradan arms, so at the end of the day, it’s water under the bridge, according to Suthers.

When county leaders first realized that there were fewer vaccines being sent to distributors in El Paso County in comparison with our population, they asked CDPHE what the problem was. Suthers said they told him the formula for distribution was “complex,” and not entirely based on population size.

“It was clearly apparent we were not getting 12.5 percent of vaccinations [with 12.5 percent of the population in Colorado],” Suthers explained to 11 News reporter Spencer Wilson.

“So we went back to them and to their credit, they’ve acknowledged it, said ‘we’ve switched to a population distribution system. We are going to make it right...we can’t make it right overnight, but we’re going to give you a greater distribution over the next several weeks and get it equaled out.’”

During a news conference Friday, Polis danced around a question about the statement from his office, stating El Paso County would be punished for not using all the vaccines they were given, blocked from getting additional shots because of a claim that “10,000 are sitting on shelves.”

Suthers said there is an explanation for each one of those vaccines the governor’s office referenced.

“The state health department figured it out. We figured it out. I don’t know why the governor can’t figure it out.”

The mayor’s office details it out as follows:

“Pikes Peak Regional Hospital accounted for 3,000 of those, but PPRH is actually located in Teller County. We let them know this.

“UCHealth had less than a day’s supply on hand. (They did 5,000 vaccines in three days.)

“Matthews Vu/Peak Vista are the mass vax event he was talking about, not Centura. MV/PV’s clinic is tomorrow. [Saturday] I believe they had 2,000 on hand at the time for this event.

“The biggest number was Optum, with around 5,000. Optum was asked by CDPHE to switch from Moderna to Pfizer because of their capabilities to do the very cold storage. The are in the midst of this transition, moving Moderna vaccines to smaller, more rural clinics while building up their supply of Pfizer.”

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