With federal regulators expected to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in the coming days, Colorado’s health department on Friday announced which hospitals and other medical providers will receive the first doses when they arrive in the state.
More than 150 locations will receive portions of the first two shipments to arrive in Colorado, with 46 providers set to receive the first doses of Pfizer’s vaccine and 151 providers slated to receive Moderna’s shots, according to the state Department of Public Health and Environment.
Most of the locations receiving doses from the first Pfizer shipment also will receive a portion of the first Moderna shipment.
These first doses of the two companies’ COVID-19 vaccines will only be available to health care workers who deal directly with coronavirus patents and those that live and work in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, according to the state’s vaccination distribution framework.
Essential workers, people with underlying health conditions and other members of the public will not get the shots until spring or summer — depending on where they fall in the state’s three-phased plan — because supply of the vaccine is extremely limited. This is also why other health care workers and first responders won’t receive the vaccine until the second part of Phase 1, later this winter.
Colorado will receive 46,800 doses of Pfizer’s two-shot vaccine in the coming days, if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves emergency use authorization as expected. Next week, the state should get 95,600 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is still pending approval. Any subsequent doses will come in weekly batches and Colorado is expected to receive 1.69% of any available vaccine, a figure based on population.
The hospitals and public health agencies that will receive the state’s first doses were chosen because they have ultra-low freezers that can store Pfizer’s vaccine, which is especially difficult to distribute because of the cold temperatures it requires.
The list also identified nine hubs — including Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver, Gunnison County Public Health and Vail Health Hospital — that will receive additional doses to be p redistributed to other providers in their region.
The local public health agencies that will receive shipments of the vaccine will give the shots to health care workers at hospitals that do not have the ability to store it, according to the news release.
“The state also considered equitable geographic distribution as well as transportation logistics given expected winter conditions in the coming months,” state health officials said in a news release.