Vaccinations Progressing, but Availability Limited

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San Juan based in public health officials

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say they’ve administered

the first COVID vaccinations

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to nearly all frontline healthcare workers

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in La Plata and Archuleta Counties

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but limited supplies are

hindering progress on vaccinating

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those next in line.

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You’re watching the local

news network brought to you

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by Krieger’s ACE hardware in Durango.

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I’m Wendy Graham Settle.

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The number of confirmed

COVID-19 cases continues to rise

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in La Plata and Archuleta county,

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with nearly 200 cases reported

the second week of January,

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in what public health officials

say is a post holiday spike,

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from Christmas gatherings

and new year’s eve parties.

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So far, La Plata County

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has had a total of nearly

2,600 confirmed cases

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and Archuleta County 560 cases

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since the pandemic hit Colorado

on March 4th last year.

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That’s the bad news.

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The good news is that vaccinations

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against the virus are underway,

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although supplies are limited.

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Currently we are concluding phase 1A

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in Southwest Colorado,

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which is our high risk healthcare workers.

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Phase 1A also includes our

long-term care facilities.

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All of the long-term

care facilities and staff

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in Southwest Colorado have

received their first dose

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and we’re just waiting

on the second doses.

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So, we’re substantially

complete with phase 1A.

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We’ve made a lot of

progress into phase 1B,

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especially the groups that were

originally part of phase 1B,

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our moderate risk health care workers

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and our first responders.

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Just this week, I think

this week in La Plata County

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and last week in Archuleta County,

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we had the first doses for

members of the general public

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aged 70 and older.

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That is a very, very large category.

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It’s thousands of people

in Southwest Colorado

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so it is going to take

some time to complete.

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The good news is we have new providers

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getting enrolled to

give shots all the time,

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which means there are more

appointments available,

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more places people can go.

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There’s also discussions around

large vaccination clinics.

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The hospitals are getting more doses

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to vaccinate members of the public.

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It’s a really exciting time.

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There is a lot to it though

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and it is a very, very

large group of people.

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Vaccine availability

continues to be limited

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by the number of supplies

that we get from Colorado,

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the number of supplies Colorado gets

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from the federal government

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and of course,

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what the federal government

gets from the manufacturers.

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According to the Colorado Department

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of Public Health and Environment,

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Colorado receives only

70,000 vaccines a week

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for the state’s 5.8 million residents.

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The state health department

also noted that fewer than 10%

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of La Plata county’s 10,000 residents,

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ages 65 years and older, have

received their first vaccines.

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San Juan based in public health

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and other health clinics and organizations

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are now vaccinating

individuals in phase 1B.

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That includes moderate

risk healthcare workers,

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first responders and

residents age 70 and older.

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Frontline essential workers

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and essential state government officials

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will be eligible for

vaccines beginning March 1st.

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Phase two vaccinations

will be administered

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later this spring to residents

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between the ages of 60 and 69,

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higher risk residents

with health complications

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ages 16 to 59,

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essential workers or

local government officials

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not covered in phase 1B

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and residents who received a placebo

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during the vaccination testing period.

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All other residents will

receive vaccines this summer.

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You can sign up for email notifications

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to learn when vaccinations are available

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for your eligibility group

at sjbpublichealth.org.

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Thanks for watching this edition

of the Local News Network.

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I’m Wendy Graham Settle.

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