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Colorado’s phased vaccine distribution is as follows:
1A: Highest-risk health care workers and individuals. These are the people who must have direct contact with COVID-19 patients for longer periods of time (defined as 15 minutes or more over a period of 24 hours) as part of their jobs. This phase also includes long-term care facility staff and residents.
1B.1: Coloradans age 70+, moderate-risk health care workers, and first responders.
Health care workers who do not have prolonged direct contact with COVID-19 patients, but still work in direct patient care or as direct patient care support staff, and EMS.
Firefighters, police, COVID-19 response personnel, correctional workers, and funeral services.
Anyone age 70 and older.
1B.2: Coloradans age 65+, PK-12 educators, child care workers in licensed child care programs, and continuity of 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.
Licensed child care programs include child care centers, preschools, family child care homes (only provider and paid staff, not household members), and school-age child care.
Does not include neighborhood youth organizations or resident camps.
Select members of the Executive and Judicial branches of state government.
Note: members of the legislative branch have already received access to the vaccine.
People age 65+.
1B.3: People age 60 and older, frontline essential workers and people ages 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 16-59 with 2 or more high risk conditions as listed: Coloradans with 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 ≥ 30kg/m^2), 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.
1B.4: People age 50 and older, people with high risk conditions, frontline essential workers, 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 16-49 with one of the following high 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.
2: The general public. 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.
Please note: As we move through phases, people in previous phases remain eligible.
Please note: We may continue to prioritize by age in phase 2 if we remain constrained by supply.
Prioritization is subject to change based on data, science, and availability.
The initial supply of COVID-19 vaccine(s) is expected to be very limited for several months. This means that a vaccine will not be immediately available to everyone who wants one. Individual vaccine providers, in consultation with their local public health agencies, will need to use their best judgement about which patients may be eligible for vaccination during each of the phases.
If you are a member of the general public looking for important public health emergency information, including updates about the COVID-19 vaccine, please sign up for Jeffco COVID-19 Alerts at https://www.jeffco.us/list.aspx. These alerts are also available in Spanish at the same link under Alertas Jeffco COVID-19 Español.
The FDA requires that vaccines undergo a rigorous scientific process, including three phases of clinical trials, before they authorize or approve the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines are subject to the same safety standards as other vaccine trials. To date, the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board overseeing Phase 3 trials of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has not identified or reported any serious safety concerns. All phase 3 studies have Data Safety and Monitoring Boards. The boards are made up of independent scientists hired by the company to look at the safety data and check at regular intervals whether the company should cancel or continue with the study. Additionally, two independent advisory committees will review a vaccine’s safety data before it is made available to the public. These committees are the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), which advises the FDA, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which advises the CDC. Learn more about the vaccine safety and development process.
You may experience mild to moderate side effects after receiving the vaccine. Side effects typically go away on their own after a few days. The most commonly reported side effects are:
The process of building immunity can cause symptoms. These symptoms are normal and show that your body’s immune system is responding to a vaccine. Other routine vaccines, like the flu vaccine, have similar side effects.
If you experience discomfort after the first dose of the vaccine, it is very important that you still receive the second dose a few weeks later for full protection.
The side effects after the second dose might be more intense or cause more discomfort than side effects after the first dose. In some cases, the side effects may be bad enough to interfere with your work and other normal daily activities for a day or two. Because the body has already responded to one dose of the vaccine, the second dose may cause a stronger immune response in your body. These side effects are expected and show that your body is continuing to build immunity.
If you are experiencing more intense side effects, stay well hydrated, rest, and consider over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen (if they are normally safe for you to take). Side effects are proof that your body is building immunity in response to the vaccine and will typically go away on their own within a day or two.
For in-depth information about the side effects of the vaccines, see the CDC’s report on the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine.
A COVID-19 vaccine will give you protection against the disease without having to get sick with the actual virus. It is not possible to get COVID-19 from a vaccine, but it is possible to get symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19. The vaccine candidates use inactivated virus, parts of the virus (e.g., the spike protein), or a gene from the virus. None of these can cause COVID-19. The goal of the vaccine is to provide your body with the tools it needs to fight the COVID-19 virus if you were to get infected.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine require two doses, and it is vital that both does are administered on time. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart, and the Moderna vaccine requires the doses be administered 28 days apart. The vaccines are not interchangeable, so you must receive the second dose of the same vaccine product as the first dose.
It is very important that you receive your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on time. The time-frame between doses is determined by the companies producing the vaccine to maximize your body’s ability to create antibodies against the virus. Many routine vaccines, such as Varicella (chickenpox), also require more than one dose for maximum protection.
Every effort should be made to make sure your second dose is the same vaccine product as the first dose. Studies have shown that the vaccines are safe and work well when the same vaccine product is used for both doses.
We strongly recommend that you get both doses from the same vaccine provider. Doing so ensures that you are getting the same vaccine product for both doses at the right time.
You will not be immediately protected from COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine. Studies show that it takes about 1-2 weeks after your last dose for your body to be able to protect itself against illness. While no vaccine is 100% effective, Pfizer and Moderna have reported that their vaccines are about 95% effective. While there are several known variants of COVID-19, current evidence suggests the vaccine will protect against all of them.
We need to use all the tools available to use to stop the spread of COVID-19. It will take time after the vaccination for your body to respond and make enough antibodies to protect you. This could take up to 1-2 weeks after your last dose.
CDPHE is asking that all Coloradans, those who have received the vaccine and those that have not yet, still continue to take the precautions of wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands and not gathering in groups outside your household until it is clear that this is no longer needed. If you are possibly exposed to COVID-19, even between doses of the vaccine, you should follow standard quarantine protocols as advised by state and local public health officials.