Colorado community sites now taking walk-ups, as vaccination rates lag and cases soar in parts of the state

Colorado State Fairgrounds community vaccine site in Pueblo
Colorado State Fairgrounds community vaccine site in Pueblo(KKTV)
Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 8:32 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Appointments are no longer necessary to get a vaccine at any of Colorado’s six community clinics!

The change comes as vaccine rates have begun to lag in some parts of the state, most notably in El Paso and Pueblo counties.

“In our communities with higher vaccination rates, the number of COVID cases are dropping and are lower than parts of our state with lower vaccination rates,” Polis said. “... It’s why areas of our state have more danger from the virus, more hospitalizations, more cases, and other places have less.”

To compare, just 3,137 vaccines were administered at the Broadmoor World Arena between April 19-26. Nearly 15,000 doses were administered at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. El Paso County has one of the highest case rates in the state and some of the lowest vaccination rates, while counties in the Denver metro area are faring better on both fronts.

To make getting a vaccine as hassle-free as possible, walk-ins will now be accepted at all of the community sites. Those sites include the World Arena and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, as well as Ball Arena in Denver County, The Ranch Events Complex in Larimer County and Grand Junction Convention Center in Mesa County. The sixth site, Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo County, had already begun to accept walk-ins ahead of Tuesday’s announcement.

Big news! All six Community Vaccination Sites now accept walk-ins when there are available appointments with no advance...

Posted by Governor Jared Polis on Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Currently, nearly one-third of eligible (16 and older) Coloradans are fully vaccinated and over half have gotten their first dose. That’s not yet enough for the state to reach herd immunity, which health experts estimate will happen when 70-80 percent of the population obtain immunity to the virus through vaccination or previous exposure.

Polis say he believes the vaccine lag is “less a resistance to vaccine issue and more what you might call a hesitancy or laziness issue.”

“It’s people -- and we know this from research -- they will get the vaccine, but it’s not immediate in their minds. They’re thinking, ‘I’ll get it in the future, maybe in one month, maybe in two months, maybe some indefinite date. Well, that time is now: step up and get it. If it’s a matter of convenience or ease, there’s people who still think they have to spend an hour reloading webpages and it’s hard to set up an appointment. Guess what: it isn’t, and you don’t even need an appointment. You can just show up and get it.

Polis also pointed out that employees have the right to take four hours of paid time off for a vaccine appointment if they can’t get a vaccine outside work hours.

“Employers are required to honor that right,” he said.

The governor said he’s hopeful rates will also start increasing now that the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is back in rotation.

“Once you’re vaccinated, you can return to the lifestyle you’re accustomed to.”

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