A look at the COVID-19 vaccines
Here's a look at the vaccines available, and what scientists say about them
Who's in line for the COVID-19 vaccine?
Here is who is eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine in Colorado
How do you get an appointment for the vaccine?
Here's a list of providers in Colorado.
What should you know before getting your shot?
Here's what to do and not do before and after getting the COVID-19 vaccine
How to get off COVID-19 vaccine waiting lists
You can help shorten the lines for providers by removing yourself from lists after getting a vaccine
What can you do after getting a vaccine?
Nope, you can't ditch your face coverings right away
Does the vaccine protect against variants?
Health officials are in a race against time to administer the COVID-19 vaccine before variants become more prominent
How close is Colorado to herd immunity?
This graphic shows how many Coloradans have gotten the vaccine compared to the overall population
Answering your questions about COVID-19 and the vaccine
Next with Kyle Clark has answered lots of questions about the COVID-19 vaccine
After a slow start, the federal government is working to increase the supply of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and states are working to become more efficient in administering them. Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) announced this week that all Colorado residents will be eligible to receive a vaccine on Friday, April 2. That only includes those age 16 and older as the vaccines have not yet been approved for anyone younger. Those between 16 and 18 can only get the Pfizer vaccine.
9NEWS has received hundreds of emails in recent weeks from Coloradans unsure of the process for scheduling an appointment, as well as what happens once they have gotten their shot.
Here's a guide on how to know whether you're eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, where to get an appointment, what to do next and when life could return to normal.
A look at the COVID-19 vaccines: Here's a look at the vaccines available, and what scientists say about them
Three vaccines are currently authorized for emergency use in the U.S.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA technology, meaning they do not contain any active virus. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said it does not recommend one vaccine over the other.
Both vaccines require two shots and are about 95% effective. The vaccines cannot be used interchangeably, meaning if your first shot is a Pfizer vaccine, you shouldn't get Moderna as the second dose.
The CDC recommends that health-care providers give the second dose of the Moderna vaccine four weeks after the first shot, while the two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are supposed to be three weeks apart.
> Watch the video below for an explanation of how mRNA vaccines work.
Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) submitted a request to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization and it was granted on Feb 27. While only 70% effective, this vaccine requires one dose instead of two.
Two other drug companies have undergone clinical trials in the U.S. and are in the process of asking for emergency authorization:
- The AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed with Oxford University, is already being used in the U.K., Mexico, India and other countries. It has not received approval from the FDA, and studies have shown its efficacy against preventing illness from the South African COVID-19 variant is reduced. Overall, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been found to be 62% effective at preventing illness, but the company claims it is almost entirely effective at preventing severe disease and death.
- The Novavax vaccine has been found to be a little under 90% effective, but it's less effective against the South African COVID-19 variant. The vaccine does not yet have U.S. approval.
President Joe Biden said he has already secured 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from other providers. The U.S. population is about 330 million.
Who's in line for the COVID-19 vaccine?: Here is who is eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine in Colorado
Colorado is administering the COVID-19 vaccine in phases.
Frontline healthcare workers were the first to receive the vaccine, followed by first-responders and people 70 and older. The goal was to vaccinate 70% of the people in that age group by the end of February, and by mid-March, they had reached about 76% of that age group.
Educators, child-care workers, and people 65 and older were next, followed by people 60 plus or with two or more preexisting conditions.
Coloradans older than 50, essential workers — including restaurant employees — and those with one preexisting condition, were next.
The general public is eligible beginning on April 2. Ages 16 and up are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine and ages 18 and up are eligible for Moderna and J&J.
Below is CDPHE's latest vaccination priority table:
COVID-19 vaccine distribution table
Highest-risk health care workers and individuals:
- People who have direct contact with COVID-19 patients for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
- Long-term care facility staff and residents.
Coloradans age 70+, moderate-risk health care workers and first responders:
Health care workers with less direct contact with COVID-19 patients (e.g. home health, hospice, pharmacy, dental, etc.) and EMS.
Firefighters, police, COVID-19 response personnel, correctional workers, and funeral services.
People age 70 and older.
Coloradans age 65-69, PK-12 educators and child care workers in licensed child care programs and state government:
Child care workers in licensed child care programs, teachers (full-time and substitutes), bus, food, counselors, administrative, safety, and other support services offered inside the school.
Select members of the executive and judicial branches of state government (members of the legislative branch have already received access to the vaccine).
People age 65-69.
People age 60 and older, frontline essential agricultural and grocery store workers, and people age 16-59 with two or more high-risk conditions:
People age 60 and older.
Frontline essential workers in grocery and agriculture: The intent of this classification is to prioritize current workers who cannot maintain physical distance from others at their place of employment, who work in close contact with many people, especially indoors, and in places with poor ventilation including meatpacking workers; grocery store workers; and agricultural processing workers.
People age 16-59 with two or more of the following: Cancer (defined as patients who are currently receiving treatment or have received treatment within the last month for cancer), chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes mellitus (types 1 and 2), Down syndrome, specific heart conditions (heart failure, cardiomyopathies or coronary heart disease, and severe valvular/congenital heart disease), obesity (BMI of 30 or more), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, solid organ transplant, individuals with disabilities who require direct care in their home, and people with disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks.
People age 50 and older, frontline essential workers, people with high risk conditions, and the continuation of operations for state government and continuity of local government:
People age 50 and older.
Frontline essential workers in the following fields:
Higher education: The intent of this classification is to prioritize current educators who work in close contact with many people especially indoors, including all student-facing staff in community colleges and colleges. Student-facing staff includes instructors, professors, vocational educators and staff providing safety and other support services offered inside the school.
Frontline essential workers in food/restaurant services: The intent of this classification is to prioritize current workers who cannot maintain physical distance from others at their place of employment, who work in close contact with many people, especially indoors, including but not limited to restaurant cooks, dishwashers, servers and other workers in restaurant settings; and food pantry/assistance workers.
Frontline essential workers in manufacturing: The intent of this classification is to prioritize workers in manufacturing settings who cannot maintain physical distance from others at their place of employment and workers who work in close contact with many people, especially indoors and in places with poor ventilation.
Frontline essential workers for the US postal service: The intent of this classification is to prioritize current workers who work for the US postal service in positions where they cannot maintain physical distance at work and work in close contact with many people, especially indoors. This includes post office clerks and mail sorters.
Frontline essential workers in public transit and specialized transportation: The intent of this classification is to prioritize current workers in public transit and who have specialized transportation staff who cannot maintain physical distance from others at their place of employment, workers who work in close contact with many people especially indoors including but not limited to bus drivers, specialized transportation staff who work in our tunnels, specialized transportation staff such as air traffic controllers, train conductors, pilots and airline stewards.
Frontline essential workers in public health: The intent of this classification is to prioritize current workers in governmental public health agencies with public facing duties and heightened risk of exposure. This includes public health and environment staff, including inspectors engaged in direct public health service delivery.
Frontline essential human service workers: The intent of this classification is to prioritize current workers who cannot maintain physical distance at their place of employment in the course of their work, such as those who work in close contact with other people, especially indoors. This includes but is not limited to social workers, community health workers, those who work in client homes, in community locations and at human services work locations, and others who provide direct or in-person services to elderly and disabled populations, at domestic violence advocacy organizations, or in-person resource providers.
Faith leaders: The intent of this classification is to prioritize those who in the course of leading faith services cannot easily maintain physical distance and must come into close contact with other people indoors. This includes current faith leaders who must enter hospitals or other care facilities to perform last rites, who officiate life rites such as weddings and baptisms and who lead worship services.
Frontline essential direct care providers for Coloradans experiencing homelessness: The intent of this classification is to prioritize workers who work in close contact with many other people, especially indoors, including but not limited to those who work and provide direct services in shelters for people experiencing homelessness.
Frontline essential journalists: The intent of this classification is to prioritize journalists who in the course of their work cannot easily maintain physical distance and come into contact with the public in the course of their work while conducting interviews or covering live events, especially indoors.
Continuity of local government: The intent of this classification is to ensure the continuity of county, municipal and other local governments. It includes select executives of those governments and a limited amount of essential support staff needed to provide for continuity of government, including members of the judicial branch who regularly come into contact with the public (e.g. state and county court trial judges, court administrators, public defenders and probation staff.)
Continuation of operations for state government: The intent of this classification is to ensure the continuity of essential state government services. It includes select staff needed to deliver essential services to the people of Colorado, as identified in the agencies’ continuity of operations plans.
People age 16 to 49 with one of the following higher risk conditions: The intent of this classification is to vaccinate Coloradans who have risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. It includes Coloradans with one condition listed in 1B.3 or asthma (moderate-to-severe), Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain), Cystic fibrosis, Hypertension or high blood pressure, Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines, Neurologic conditions, such as dementia, Liver disease, Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues), Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder).
Adults who received a placebo during a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.
The intent of this classification is to vaccinate any Coloradans who were not included in earlier phases because they have lower risk of exposure or are less likely to have severe outcomes from COVID-19. May be further segmented by age if needed.
How do you get an appointment for the vaccine?: Here's a list of providers in Colorado.
The state said it will update this site with information about where to get a vaccine as more providers come online. The supply has been increasing each week, and the governor's office now says anyone who wants a vaccine in Colorado will be able to get one in May.
Vaccines are administered by providers by appointment only, meaning you have to register either by phone or online. Here's the state's list of providers by county and a look at how to get on the waiting lists.
The interactive map below shows vaccine providers by location:
As the state receives more vaccine does and more people become eligible, several vaccine clinic sites will be opened up that will have the ability to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day. They include:
- March 17: Grand Junction Convention Center- Mesa County
- March 17: Broadmoor World Arena- El Paso County
- March 22: Dick's Sporting Goods Park - Adams County
- March 22: The Ranch Events Complex - Larimer County
- March 22: State Fairgrounds- Pueblo
- April 1: Ball Arena - Denver
Here is a document from the state showing which providers have gotten doses of the vaccine, as well as information about scheduling an appointment:
Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies also have begun administering COVID-19 vaccines through the federal retail pharmacy program.
Eligible customers can schedule a vaccine appointment via the Walmart and Sam’s Club websites. CVS, Walgreens, and King Soopers pharmacies also have a share of the vaccine supply. You can schedule directly through their websites.
People having trouble getting vaccines can call this number: 877-268-2926 (CO-VAX-CO).
Additionally, an employee at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has created an appointment search tool called the Colorado COVID-19 Vaccine Finder, that may be helpful for finding an appointment.
It's worth mentioning that you can get vaccinated in any county, and are not required to get the shot in the community you live in. The vaccine is free, and providers should not ask you to pay for the vaccine or other administrative costs, though they may bill your insurance.
IDs are not required when registered, but people may be asked to verify their ages or healthcare worker/first responder status.
What should you know before getting your shot?: Here's what to do and not do before and after getting the COVID-19 vaccine
9Health Expert Dr. Payal Kohli shared these tips for what to do (and not do) before your COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
- DO: Eat a good meal and drink lots of water.
- DON'T: Take Tylenol or Ibuprofen before, as it could potentially dampen some of the immune responses activated by the vaccine.
- DO: Avoid alcohol before your vaccination shot, as it could hamper your immune response.
- DON'T: Plan a hard workout right after getting your vaccine. While moderate exercise can help with immune response, upping your intensity could have the opposite effect.
- DO: Talk to your doctor if you're taking medication for an autoimmune condition.
- DON'T: Get a vaccine right after you've tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed. The current guidance is to wait to get vaccinated until three months after a natural infection.
DO: Monitor your symptoms after the vaccine. Arm pain should go away after 48 hours, and flu-like symptoms are possible in the days following your dose.
You can also track your symptoms on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) V-Safe online health tracker to monitor your symptoms and get text message check-ins daily, then weekly.
How to get off COVID-19 vaccine waiting lists: You can help shorten the lines for providers by removing yourself from lists after getting a vaccine
In an effort to get a COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible, many people signed up on virtual waitlists with numerous health-care systems. While it might have helped them get their vaccine faster, some providers said they now aren't sure who on their waitlists still needs a vaccine.
Here's how to remove yourself from vaccine wait lists if you've already gotten your shot:
A spokesperson for SCL Health said on Monday that they think most of the 5,800 people who are 70 and older on their waitlist have received a vaccine elsewhere. Because they don't know for sure, the health system will call every single one of them to determine whether they still need a vaccine, the spokesperson said.
If you no longer need a vaccine through SCL Health, you're asked to call the clinic where you have an appointment scheduled to be removed from the waiting list. SCL Health is working on an automated system to streamline the process, but it's not up and running yet.
A spokesperson for UCHealth said the best way to remove your name from their waitlist is to decline the next invitation you receive. Rather than deleting or ignoring the invite, go into it and select the "decline" option so UCHealth knows you've received a vaccine elsewhere.
The health system said patients do not have to un-enroll from vaccine waitlists for Kaiser Permanente because the system cross references its waitlist with the state's vaccination registry and removes people who have been vaccinated elsewhere.
If you scheduled your appointment through your MyCenturaHealth account:
Log into MyCenturaHealth and locate the “Visits” button at the top of the screen. Locate your COVID-19 vaccine appointment, and you will see a “Reschedule Appointment” and/or “Cancel Appointment” option.
If you scheduled your appointment through COVIDCheck Colorado:
Click on the link in your confirmation email or text. On your appointment confirmation page, scroll to the bottom and select "Cancel Appointment" (red button). You can also cancel your appointment by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org
National Jewish Health
Patients who want to be removed from National Jewish Health's vaccine waiting list should click the unsubscribe link in any e-mails that the provider sends.
What can you do after getting a vaccine?: Nope, you can't ditch your face coverings right away
Nope, getting a vaccine isn't suddenly a get-out-of-jail-free card from wearing a mask or practicing social distancing.
Although it's clear that the vaccines being distributed in the U.S. protect the recipient, scientists can't say for certain whether they prevent someone who is vaccinated from spreading COVID-19 to others.
Some studies have shown that vaccines seem to prevent at least some transmission of COVID-19, but proving this is difficult because infections in certain regions could drop due to other factors, such as human behavior.
Nevertheless, the CDC said people who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 might be able to skip quarantining if they've been exposed to someone infected with the virus. Typically, people are told to quarantine for 14 days after exposure.
There are some caveats to this, including if the person who is vaccinated is showing symptoms, in which case they should quarantine and get tested.
The criteria also requires the person to be fully vaccinated, meaning it's been at least two weeks since their second dose in a two-dose series like Pfizer and Moderna, or more than two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.
The CDC has also given clearance for people who are fully-vaccinated to interact with one another.
Does the vaccine protect against variants?: Health officials are in a race against time to administer the COVID-19 vaccine before variants become more prominent
Researchers are working to determine whether existing COVID-19 vaccines are effective against more infectious variants emerging from the U.K., South Africa and Brazil.
South Africa has gone so far as to pivot away from using the AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns that it might not work against the variant prevalent there.
Both Moderna and Pfizer have said their vaccines offer protection against the U.K. and South African variants, though it is less than the protection it offers against the original strain.
Even at a lower efficacy, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, said vaccines have an important function.
“The most important thing, more important than whether you prevent someone from getting aches and a sore throat, is preventing people" from getting the severe disease, Fauci said. “That will alleviate so much of the stress and human suffering and death in this epidemic.”
Health officials in Colorado have essentially called their vaccination effort a race against time as variants become more common in the state.
How close is Colorado to herd immunity?: This graphic shows how many Coloradans have gotten the vaccine compared to the overall population
The graphic below shows how many shots have been administered in Colorado as compared to the total population.
While health experts do not have an exact number of how many people need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, it is believed to be at least 70%.
Herd immunity means that enough people have developed immunity to a disease, either through infection or vaccination, that there is no longer a risk for community transmission or outbreaks, according to CDPHE.
> In the video below, CDPHE's COVID-19 incident commander explains the state's benchmarks for herd immunity.
Answering your questions about COVID-19 and the vaccine: Next with Kyle Clark has answered lots of questions about the COVID-19 vaccine
The Next with Kyle Clark team receives multiple emails per day with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. And by multiple, we mean "a lot."
The videos below share the answers to some of the questions, which range from super common to obscure.
How soon after your COVID-19 vaccine can you donate blood?
Although the American Red Cross and FDA have said you can donate blood immediately after getting the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines without needing a waiting period, the opinion of 9Health Expert Dr. Payal Kohli is more conservative. She recommends NOT donating blood for at least two weeks after your vaccine dose for the following reasons:
1. You may have a fever, feel run down or have symptoms after receiving the vaccine. If you have a fever, you can’t donate blood. And, If you have fatigue, weakness or other symptoms after the vaccine, it may not be a good idea to donate blood when you are not feeling well as this may worsen your symptoms.
2. Although the blood donation facilities are very safe and taking the utmost precautions, you want your immunity against COVID-19 to be maximized when you go in for the donation because well...you can't donate blood virtually.
3. For most other vaccines, the recommendation has been to wait at least two weeks before blood donation. The data and recommendations are still evolving for the COVID-19 vaccine and the information at hand is limited. It is also important to note that there is ongoing discussion around the Johnson and Johnson and the Astra-Zeneca vaccines, which are not mRNA vaccines. They may require a waiting period. And, if you don't know which vaccine you received, you will also likely have a waiting period of two weeks before you can donate blood.
Donating blood is a valuable contribution to your community and you should call your blood bank to discuss how you can donate blood safely.
What does it mean if you don't have a reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine?
Medical experts have said reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines mean they're working. But, not everyone has a vaccine. Should they be worried? Next with Kyle Clark explains.
Can Coloradans pick which vaccine they get?
Since studies have reported varying efficacy and side effects among the vaccines -- especially now that Johnson and Johnson could be on the market -- one viewer wondered if people will be able to pick their vaccine. Here's the answer.
Can you get the COVID-19 vaccine after plasma treatment?
Some COVID-19 patients are treated with convalescent plasma after falling ill. Does this impact their vaccine? Here's the answer.
Will we need to get a COVID-19 vaccine every year?
>>> Do you have a news tip to share about the COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado? Fill out the form below. 9NEWS has a team of journalists assigned to covering the vaccine rollout in the state.
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