REMOTE, (Jan. 17, 2021): The state continues to move through its phased COVID-19 vaccination plan as quickly as supplies allow, getting vaccines to providers throughout Colorado. There are about 459 providers giving vaccines now and more awaiting vaccines once the federal supply allows. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) sent vaccine providers a letter today further defining the parameters of fair distribution, even as providers move with urgency.
The letter addresses barriers to equitable distribution, such as unnecessary identification requirements-- as well as patient affiliation requirements. It also highlights the need for easily-navigated information, both on digital and non-digital channels. Finally, it speaks to the state’s plans for more community vaccine clinics as federal supplies grow.
“We must be responsive to disparities that have been so pervasive throughout the pandemic-- disparities that have plagued society for years upon years but are ever more prominent during crises. To achieve equity, we need to take deliberate action. To not add to that suffering, we must eliminate barriers to fair vaccine distribution. We know that our providers share in our goals to reach all communities,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, CDPHE.
The state expects providers to eliminate requirements for official identification, and warns that requiring identification can result in loss of access to vaccines.
CDPHE is actively pursuing additional tactics to be equitable in vaccine distribution. We are engaging community based organizations and have already had community clinics in Center and San Luis, for example, and are developing a plan for more community clinics. We are coordinating our transportation infrastructure to develop a plan to provide that resource to community members without personal vehicles. We are also facilitating a Champions for Vaccine Equity program to help educate communities of color about the safety and efficacy of vaccines and educating health education partners like Promotoras, service providers, and crisis counselors to support vaccine literacy. We are developing a vaccine media marketing campaign featuring medical professionals from diverse backgrounds and we are engaging influencers and local public health to help get the word out to hard to reach communities.
Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.