DENVER (KRDO) -- Gov. Jared Polis announced that Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution phase will begin on Friday. That means the general public in Colorado will be eligible for a vaccine starting April 2.
Gov. Polis hosted a news conference Monday to make the announcement. Watch below:
Colorado is currently in Phase 1B.4 of vaccine distribution, which includes many frontline and essential workers. With more vaccines coming available in recent weeks, the state has been able to move up its goals for vaccine distribution.
When the vaccine opens to the general public, you'll be able to sign up through a provider. See this link for information on vaccine providers in Colorado, or call 1-877-CO-VAX-CO.
Polis said he expects that anyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one within 6-8 weeks when Phase 2 begins.
El Paso County Commissioner Stan VanderWerf says El Paso County is ready for the mass influx of patients expected with this new phase. “We’ve actually been planning this for some time and there are actually are a total of 98 locations in El Paso County that citizens can go to to get their vaccine,” VanderWerf says. For a list of locations where you can get your vaccine in El Paso County, click here.
However, after 13 Investigates uncovered a discrepancy with how many vaccines El Paso was receiving, would there be enough for the general public in Colorado Springs and its surrounding areas? VanderWerf says, “That’s still an issue but the state has stepped up and the gap, the shortfall, that we were very concerned about has been closed.”
As for when Colorado can return to a semblance of normalcy, Polis hopes that can happen by the end of summer. "By July we should have broad widespread immunity across the population," Polis says. However, he warns just because the finish line is in sight does not mean people should ease their mask wearing, social distancing, and other precations.
“We are not through this," Polis says. "There is enough people that haven’t been vaccinated and haven’t had it where they are absolutely could be another increase."
The governor added that people at a higher risk who still haven't received a vaccine will be prioritized even through Phase 2. Polis also announced that 70% of Coloradans aged 60 and over have now received their vaccines.
In total, 999,618 people in Colorado have been fully vaccinated as of Saturday, according to state data.