Vaccine for Coloradans

Last updated February 26, 2021.

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1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926)
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COVID-19 vaccine

We expect that the initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines will be very limited for several months. This means that a vaccine will not be immediately available to everyone who wants one. To be as fair and efficient with distribution as possible, the state has developed a phased approach to vaccine distribution to save lives and end the crisis that has been brought on by the pandemic as quickly as possible. 

When can I get vaccinated? 

Colorado is currently vaccinating eligible Coloradans for Phase 1A, 1B.1, and 1B.2. Coloradans in Phase 1B.3 will be eligible beginning March 5. After all of Phase 1 is complete, we will proceed with Phase 2.

For more information about the new phase table, see the Vaccine distribution phase update FAQ.

Vaccines can save lives, but so can you. 

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available to us. To slow the spread of disease, Coloradans should continue to use basic public health guidance, like physical distancing and mask wearing, until a vaccine is widely available and used by Coloradans. 

How much will it cost?

It will be free. Cost will not be an obstacle to getting the vaccine. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance are required to cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, uninsured Coloradans will have access to free vaccines.

More importantly, a vaccine provider may not turn you away for the vaccine because of an inability to pay or your medical coverage status. 

What can I expect at my vaccine appointment?

At your appointment, you should receive an FDA fact sheet that tells you more about the risks and benefits of the specific COVID-19 vaccine you will receive. You should also receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you which COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and the location you received it. Keep this card as a reminder of when you need to get your second dose, if applicable. The second dose of any COVID-19 vaccine must be the same vaccine product as your first dose. It is very important to get both doses of the vaccine so that your body develops enough antibodies to fight the COVID-19 virus if you get infected at a later time.

You may experience side effects, especially after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. These symptoms are normal and show that your body’s immune system is responding to a vaccine. These side effects typically go away on their own after a few days.

For more information, see the following links:

Safety and effectiveness

Vaccines must go through a detailed scientific evaluation before pharmaceutical companies can submit them to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval. Each phase of the evaluation includes three different clinical research studies or trials. In the clinical research study or trial, the vaccine is tested on people who volunteer to be part of the study. Each clinical trial emphasizes safety of the vaccine on people. As the research moves through to the next phase, the group of volunteers becomes bigger to include more diversity in people and circumstances. 

A diverse group of people volunteered to participate in every phase of the clinical trials, including populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to generations of systemic inequities. For example, in Pfizer’s clinical trials, about 42% of volunteers identified as Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, or Native American. About 37% of volunteers for Moderna’s trials identified as Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, or other.

The FDA requires that all vaccines undergo this rigorous scientific process, including three phases of clinical trials, before they will authorize or approve the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines are subject to the same safety standards as other vaccine trials. Additionally, two independent advisory committees - FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) - will also review a vaccine’s safety data before it is made available to the public.

Reporting adverse events

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, seek immediate assistance from a healthcare provider or call 9-1-1. 

The CDC and FDA are closely monitoring COVID-19 vaccine(s) for new risks and serious side effects. We highly encourage the public to report possible side effects (called adverse events) to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This national system collects the data to look for adverse events that are unexpected, appear to happen more often than expected, or have unusual patterns of occurrence. Anyone can submit a report, including parents, patients, and health care professionals. Reporting to VAERS helps the CDC monitor the safety of vaccines. 

Sign up for v-safe

CDC’s v-safe is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines. When you receive your vaccine, you should also receive a v-safe information sheet telling you how to enroll in v-safe. If you enroll, you will receive regular text messages directing you to surveys where you can report any problems or adverse reactions you have after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.