Colorado prepares to distribute first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine to health care facilities throughout state

A press release from the Governor’s Office.

In anticipation of the first shipments of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in December, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has collaborated closely with local public health agencies across the state to prepare health care facilities to receive the vaccine. These health care facilities will then distribute the vaccine to frontline health care workers.

CDPHE has identified locations across the state with ultra-low temperature freezers to receive the first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. These locations were chosen for their unique abilities to store, monitor, and handle vaccines in ultra-cold temperatures (-60°C to -80°C), as well as their willingness to redistribute COVID-19 vaccine(s) to other providers in their regions. The state also considered equitable geographic distribution as well as transportation logistics given expected winter conditions in the coming months. To be as equitable as possible, the state also purchased 10 ultra-cold storage units. CDPHE has distributed 8 of these and the remaining two will be distributed today.

The federal government will deliver a shipment of the Moderna vaccine shortly after the first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna vaccine does not need to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, allowing it to be distributed even further, especially to rural areas.

Colorado is requesting enough vaccines to provide for all Coloradans. Because of supply chain limitations, we expect we will receive regular COVID-19 vaccine allocations from the federal government on a weekly basis. 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. The federal government is determining the allocation amount by the size of every state’s total population and the quantity of ready-to-ship doses from the manufacturer(s). The first shipment will be 46,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The second shipment will be 95,600 of the Moderna vaccine. The state determined  the number of doses going to each location by surveying facilities’ needs for phase 1. Many of the doses allocated to local public health agencies will be administered to health care workers at local hospitals that do not have the capability to store vaccine.

The first two shipments of vaccine will be allocated to the following locations in the following amounts (see table)

For more information about vaccine distribution and the prioritization phases, visit CDPHE’s vaccine webpage.

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* These locations are also serving as hubs and will help us distribute vaccine to other locations. The amount of vaccine listed in this table for these locations is the amount they will administer themselves, not the amount they will distribute to other facilities. This table reflects the final destinations of all doses in the first two vaccine shipments.