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The county will receive additional doses of COVID vaccine in order to serve all residents in prioritized populations
SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County Public Health announced plans Thursday to prioritize its drive-through clinic vaccination site for full time residents and provide vaccination opportunities through partners such as Safeway and City Market for other eligible residents. Full time residents will also have the opportunity to book with other provider partners in the county to receive the COVID vaccine.
“Our goal is to ensure that our full time residents as well as health care workers and first responders continue to be prioritized while we follow the state guidance to include other eligible residents in our vaccine distribution plan,” said Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland. “We will be receiving more than 1,500 doses of vaccine from the state this week which is great news. We anticipate moving quickly through the current phases with weekly allocations of vaccine.”
“Our population of residents 70 years and older is relatively small in Summit County. We expect we will finish vaccinating this group in the next couple of weeks, added Wineland.”
Those 70 and older are at the highest risk for severe illness and account for 78% of COVID deaths in Colorado. The state is prioritizing this population for vaccination in order to save lives and reduce strain on the health care system.
Current state guidance will not allow any county to move on to the next prioritized group - Phase 1B below the dotted line, including essential workers, until at least 70% of the population 70 years and older in the state has been vaccinated, this includes primary residents as well as part time residents. If Summit County completes vaccination of this population ahead of other counties, public health officials would have to wait until the rest of the state has caught up before they could begin vaccinating teachers, grocery store workers, and other essential workers.
“We will continue to advocate for opportunities to begin vaccinating our essential workers immediately when we get through our 70 plus population, so that we do not have to wait,” said County Manager Scott Vargo. “In light of the capacity Summit County has demonstrated in delivering hundreds of vaccinations within a few hours at our drive-through clinics, the state has continued to increase our allocation of the vaccine for distribution and we hope to move quickly through the current phase.”
Summit County Public Health is preparing for vaccination of essential workers in Phase 1B below the dotted line by working with pharmacies, hospitals, and health care systems to set up a plan for widespread vaccine distribution so that hundreds of individuals will be able to receive the vaccine each day, delivered through multiple providers.
“It is a testament to the planning and preparation of Summit County Public Health and the Office of Emergency Management, that we are able to distribute the COVID vaccine so quickly in our county,” added Vargo. “Each week we are building upon our capacity and able to offer more vaccine appointments to our community members.”
Starting next week, the Summit County drive-through clinic will be restricted to health care workers and first responders, as well as full time local residents 70 years and older. Individuals must show a Colorado driver’s license or Colorado ID card with a Summit County address, or they will be turned away. Part time residents and homeowners who do not have a local ID, will have the opportunity to make an appointment at partner pharmacies. They will be required to bring proof of home ownership and sign an attestation that they have been in Summit County for 60 days and plan to stay an additional 60 days, or provide a rental agreement or lease that demonstrates a minimum of 120 day residence.
“We appreciate the concern our community members have voiced and will ensure that we continue to prioritize our full time residents, health care workers, and emergency responders for vaccination,” said Vargo. “We feel strongly, however, that it is important to prevent loss of life and strain on our health care system by offering the vaccine to our 70 and older community members, including part time residents. By reserving our drive-through clinic for residents and offering vaccinations at partner sites for other eligible individuals, we can achieve both.”
The county will announce the timing of the next round of vaccination appointments as soon as the allocation of vaccine arrives from the state. An SC Alert will be sent out upon opening of online registration for full time residents 70 years and older for the drive-through vaccination clinic and appointments at partner provider sites for other eligible resident populations.
Additional Information is available on the Summit County Scheduling COVID-19 Vaccinations webpage.
To sign up for SC Alert notifications, individuals can visit: https://www.summitcountyco.gov/1149/Summit-County-Alert