DENVER, CO (STL.News) Governor Jared Polis announced today that an eight-week Pilot Community Vaccination Site (CVS) will open in Pueblo County next week to accelerate COVID-19 vaccinations in Pueblo and rural communities throughout southern Colorado at high risk of infection.
This joint effort from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management transitions the current state site at the Colorado State Fairgrounds to a FEMA Pilot Site. It will increase capacity at both the fixed, drive-through site and new mobile vaccination locations, providing access to vaccinations for other southern Colorado counties. Through this partnership, vaccination capacity will expand from approximately 1,750 vaccines per day up to 3,000 vaccines per day with a portion of the vaccine allotment devoted to the mobile locations.
The Pueblo County Pilot CVS and accompanying mobile locations will expand vaccine distribution efforts to rural and agricultural communities, including Alamosa, Bent, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, Fremont, Huerfano, Las Animas, Otero, Prowers, Rio Grande, and Saguache counties, among others.
“Our partnership with the Pueblo community, and leaders like Sheriff Kirk Taylor, Public Health Director Randy Evetts and Mayor Nick Gradisar, has been essential as we have worked to vaccinate folks at our State Community Vaccination site, and now as we make this important transition, we have an opportunity to get even more vaccines into arms, and help our state build back stronger. This partnership with FEMA is going to help more Coloradans get the protection they need even faster,” said Governor Jared Polis. “And this isn’t only about quantity, but also equity. With this transition, we’ll be able to increase supply for the site, and reach more folks in many of our rural and agricultural communities, making it quick, easy, and convenient for them to get vaccinated. Getting the vaccine isn’t just about protecting yourself, but your loved ones and your community, so make sure to schedule your appointment as soon as you’re able.”
“FEMA is pleased to continue supporting the State of Colorado in its efforts to ensure everyone eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine has access to one. This Pilot Site not only boosts vaccine supply with additional vaccine doses, it supports the larger mobile effort to reach across southern Colorado into rural communities,” said FEMA Region 8 Acting Administrator Nancy Dragani.
Communities in southern Colorado have been particularly hard-hit throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with less access to health services and vaccine compared to other more urban communities in Colorado. Nearly 20-percent of Pueblo area residents live below the poverty line. The rural and isolated nature of many southern Colorado communities, including communities with seasonal migrant workers, makes the mobile effort an important one.
The Pueblo County Pilot CVS will transition from the current state site on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, and is located at the Colorado State Fairgrounds, 1001 Beulah Avenue, Pueblo. It will operate seven days a week, beginning at 7 a.m. Mobile unit locations and hours will be announced soon. Vaccination appointments can be scheduled through Centura Health at http://www.centura.org/vaccine.
In alignment with President Biden’s plan to respond to COVID-19, FEMA continues to work with our state, local, and tribal partners to expedite vaccinations across Region 8 in an efficient, effective, and equitable manner.