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Rep. Lamborn asks Gov. Polis to clarify why El Paso County didn’t receive fair share of vaccine doses based on population

The El Paso County Health Department received 1,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for...
The El Paso County Health Department received 1,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for a clinic held on Saturday and Sunday.(KKTV)
Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 5:26 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2021 at 9:56 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - When it comes to population, El Paso County didn’t originally receive its fair share of COVID-19 vaccine according to local leaders and U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn.

On Tuesday, Rep. Lamborn sent a letter to Governor Jared Polis regarding the reported vaccine shortfall in comparison to Denver County. Lamborn’s Office states El Paso County is facing a vaccine shortage of about 25,000 vaccines. Click here to read the full letter.

”It is deeply concerning that El Paso County is not receiving its fair share of vaccines,” a statement from Rep. Lamborn’s office reads. “Governor Polis needs to address this issue and clarify how this mistake was allowed to occur in the first place. The citizens of El Paso deserve to be vaccinated at the same rate as those in the Denver metro area. This issue must be corrected immediately.”

According to the state’s vaccine data dashboard, as of Tuesday, 291,000 doses have been distributed in Denver County with about 189,000 distributed in El Paso County. About 12.5% of Colorado residents live in El Paso County, with about 12.7% of Colorado’s population in Denver County.

Shelby Wieman, the Acting Press Secretary for the Office of Governor Jared Polis, sent KKTV 11 News the following statement Tuesday night:

On Friday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shared more information on how vaccines have been distributed. The following is from CDPHE:

In the first several weeks, Colorado’s allocation process was primarily focused on logistics and provider readiness to store and quickly distribute vaccines. Colorado then transitioned to taking into account county population and the current prioritized populations and focused distribution of vaccines to providers that were vaccinating those populations. As enrolled COVID vaccine providers and vaccine supplies have increased, Colorado is transitioning to a standard allocation that includes the following factors:

  • % weekly allocation at the health system/provider and local public health agency (LPHA) level.
  • Average weekly throughput at the health system/provider and local public health agency level.
  • Provider-identified maximum weekly throughput.
  • % county population.
  • # and size of planned community vaccination sites.

This process ensures doses are distributed in an equitable manner throughout the state to move all Colorado counties collectively through the vaccination prioritization phases as quickly as possible. The allocation is generally divided across vaccine providers as follows:

  • Equity clinics: 15%
  • Enrolled providers: 85%
  • Hospital/health systems/pharmacies: 60%
  • Local public health agencies: 20%
  • Safety net clinic: 20%

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