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Colorado receives 27,000 additional vaccine doses over next 3 weeks

Polis announced the increase in vaccine supply during an update on the state's response to COVID on Tuesday.

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and vaccination efforts Tuesday afternoon.

Polis announced that beginning next week, Colorado would receive 9,000 more weekly doses for at least the next three weeks. That's a total of 27,000 additional doses.

The additional vaccine supplies come after an announcement last week that the Biden administration would increase weekly vaccine shipments nationwide by a million doses.

In addition to sending more doses directly to 25 pharmacies in the state, additional doses will also go to community health centers, Polis said. 

The state is also nearly three-quarters of the way towards the goal of vaccinating 70% of Coloradans 70 and older by the end of the month. Polis said he is hopeful that the vaccination rate for that population will be closer to 80% or 90% by March.

Polis said he is proud the state's efforts administer vaccinations, and said that Colorado ranks in the top tier of states for quick and efficient distribution.

"There are some states ahead of us," Polis said. "I won't rest until we're number one. We continue that every day. There are 50 governors in 50 states who all want to be number one. We all can't be, but we're going to do better than the Rockies, and better than the Broncos. We are going to remain in that top tier."

Polis also addressed concerns being expressed by people over 70 who have still not received their first vaccine dose, saying that they do remain at the forefront.

He also said that many providers have not expanded to people aged 65 through 69 yet, who became eligible yesterday, as providers continue to focus on the 70 and older population.

"It may take a few weeks to get to everybody, we know it will," Polis said. "If you are 70 and up you will get it in February."

Polis was joined by two Coloradans over 70 who have received the vaccine and shared their experiences with the process.

PREVIOUS: COVID-19 dial update means many counties moved to yellow

On Friday, the state announced an update to its COVID-19 dial system to allow for more swift movement between the colors at the local level. As a result, many counties moved to Level Yellow or Blue last weekend.

Dial 2.0, as it's called, went into effect at 9 a.m. Saturday and uses a seven-day instead of a 14-day metric for disease incidence, level of testing and hospitalizations. To move to a less-restrictive level, counties have to meet all metrics for that level for one week. Once the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has confirmed the requirement was met, counties can move levels.

Most counties had been in Level Red or Orange for weeks, and the change allows more of them to operate in Yellow, according to Jill Hunsaker Ryan, CDPHE executive director.

There will be tighter metrics for community testing at the Yellow and Orange levels, which is measured as percent positivity. That will make it more difficult to move from Red to Orange, or Orange to Yellow, without sufficient testing occurring, Hunsaker Ryan said.

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