DENVER, CO (STL.News) Governor Jared Polis provided an update on the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination efforts in Colorado, particularly vaccinations among younger people. The Governor was joined by State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy, Colorado’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eric France, and Dr. Suchitra Rao, Children’s Hospital Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado.
“We all have a role to play in protecting our children. If your child is age 12 and up, make a plan to protect them today,” said Governor Jared Polis. “If not, there are steps you can take to ensure they are not put at risk for contracting the virus. With vaccinations widely available in Colorado, make sure to get yourself protected and continue wearing a mask if you have not. Together we can put this pandemic behind us, but we need Coloradans to roll up their sleeves and get the lifesaving vaccine. It’s not only about your health, but the health of your closest family and friends.”
Adolescents 12-15 years old just became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine last week, and 11% of that age group has already been vaccinated with one dose. 44% of persons 16 – 29 and 66% of persons 30 and older have also received one dose. Overall, 57% of eligible Coloradans have received one dose.
“Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent spread among young people at school or summer camps. It’s why we are asking parents to get eligible children vaccinated. The data is clear that this vaccine is the best way to avoid getting the virus,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist.
In an effort to get even more vaccines into communities across the state, Colorado is working directly with primary care providers to enroll them in the state’s COVID-19 vaccine provider program. Primary care providers everywhere in Colorado can enroll today as a vaccine provider and start providing the COVID-19 vaccine to patients and their families, while discussing the benefits and safety. Interested providers should email [email protected] for more registration, enrollment, and onboarding information.
“I understand that many Coloradans still have questions about the vaccine and whether they should get it, but far and away, the vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family,” said Dr. Eric France, Chief Medical Officer. “That’s why we want to ensure we are breaking down information barriers that might prevent folks from getting the vaccine.”
“The COVID-19 vaccine was shown not only to be 100% effective in children 12-15 years of age, but also very safe,” said Dr. Suchitra Rao, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado and associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus. “There were no serious safety concerns, only mild effects such as headache, chills, muscle pain, similar to what was seen in adults. This is really exciting news that we can now provide our tweens and teens a safe and highly effective vaccine that can do a lot of good not just for the individual receiving the vaccine, but helps make life safer for families and our community.”