COVID-19 vaccine

Updated December 30, 2020.
Downloadable guidance (12/17/2020): Español (updated 12/21/20) | Tiếng Việt | 中文 | Soomaaliالعربية 

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By vaccinating people who are most likely to get COVID-19 first, we can slow the spread of the virus across the state and keep more Coloradans safe. 

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Get the facts 

See our answers to your most important questions about getting a vaccine, safety and development, immunity, Emergency Use Authorization, and more.

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vaccine finder


See our list of vaccine providers across the state, including options specifically for individuals 70 and older, and vaccine information from local public health departments.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine will require a large-scale effort by state, local, and private sector partners. 

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As providers administer more vaccine doses, CDPHE will be able to add additional data points to this dashboard.

Where are we today?



Scientists have developed several possible vaccines to provide immunity to COVID-19. The pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have applied for an Emergency Use Authorization with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use on December 11, and Colorado received the first shipment of the vaccine on December 14. The FDA authorized the Moderna vaccine for emergency use on December 18. The companies report that both vaccines are around 95% effective.

The initial supply of vaccines will be very limited and will be distributed in a swift, fair, and efficient way. To slow the spread for everyone, we need to prioritize the highest risk health care workers and Coloradans who are most at risk for getting severely sick or even dying of COVID-19.

Until the vaccine is widely available, we will all need to continue to follow critical public health protocols. Please wear a mask in public, maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, avoid gatherings, wash your hands often, and stay home when you are sick.


Vaccine front-runners

Once a company develops a vaccine, it must go through a rigorous scientific testing process before it can be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA independently reviews the information from these tests to make sure the vaccine is safe and works well, and then decides whether the vaccine can be licensed and made available to the public.

Authorized and recommended vaccines Pfizer Moderna  
Vaccines in phase 3 clinical trials Astrazeneca Janssen Novavax

CDC vaccine profiles

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.

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People volunteer to take part in clinical research studies. Each clinical trial emphasizes safety of the vaccine on people.

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As the research moves through to the next phase, the group of volunteers becomes bigger to include more diversity in people and circumstances.  

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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.

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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.

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Additionally, two independent advisory committees - FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices - will also review a vaccine’s safety data before it is made available to the public.

When can I expect to get a COVID-19 vaccine and where do I get it? 

We expect that the initial supply of COVID-19 vaccine(s) will be very limited for several months. This means that a vaccine will not be immediately available to everyone who wants one.

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Colorado is currently vaccinating eligible Coloradans in Phase 1 and will move into subsequent phases.


Once a vaccine is available to all Coloradans, we will provide information for available vaccine providers.


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. 



COVID-19 vaccine distribution table

Phases Eligibility
Phase 1A - Winter

Highest-risk health care workers and individuals:

  • People who have direct contact with COVID-19 patients for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. 
  • Long-term care facility staff and residents.
Phase 1B - Winter

Coloradans age 70+, moderate-risk health care workers, first responders, frontline essential workers, and continuity of state government:

  • Health care workers with less direct contact with COVID-19 patients (e.g. home health, hospice, pharmacy, dental, etc.) and EMS.
  • Firefighters, police, COVID-19 response personnel, correctional workers, and funeral services.
  • People age 70 and older. 
  • Frontline essential workers in education, food and agriculture, manufacturing, U.S. postal service, public transit and specialized transportation staff, grocery, public health, frontline essential human service workers, and direct care providers for Coloradans experiencing homelessness.
  • Essential officials from executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government.
  • Essential frontline journalists.
Phase 2 - Spring

Higher-risk individuals:

  • People age 60 to 69.
  • People age 16 to 59 with obesity, diabetes, chronic lung disease, significant heart disease, chronic kidney disease, cancer, or who are immunocompromised.
  • Other essential workers and continuity of local government.
Phase 3 - Summer

General public:

  • Anyone age 16-59 without high risk conditions.

*Timeline subject to change based on supply chain. Prioritization subject to change based on data, science, availability.




303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Answers available in multiple languages.