First doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered successfully in Eagle County


Vail Health Employee Health Nurse Diane Schmidt, left, prepares to give a coronavirus vaccination to Lead Respiratory Therapist Julie Scales.
Vail Health photo.

Dec. 23, 2020 – In the first week of the vaccine’s arrival, more than 900 people in Eagle County received a first dose, with that number expected to triple in the next two to three weeks. The county received 1,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine yesterday (12/22), adding to the 875 doses of the Pfizer vaccine received on Dec. 15.

The first groups in Eagle County to receive the vaccine included:

-Healthcare workers who interact for extended periods of time or greater frequency with COVID-19 patients, including staff that provide care, conduct testing and/or are providing vaccinations.

-Staff and residents of long term care facilities.

-Home health care providers and hospice.

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-First responders, including paramedics, law enforcement, firefighters and search and rescue personnel.

-Other medical staff – behavioral health specialists, dental staff and pharmacists.

Eagle County and its partners in the medical community are fielding hundreds of questions on when the vaccine will be available for additional people. “It is difficult to forecast the timing for moving past the first round of vaccines, since our progress is based on what are currently very limited supplies,” said Heath Harmon, Eagle County Director of Public Health and Environment.

Public Health officials are hopeful that they may be able to move into the next priority groups in early January, although this will be based on vaccine supply. Those next priority groups will likely include people who are at greater risk for severe disease and death, followed by workers who provide services that are essential for the community to function. The equitable distribution of the vaccine is also very important. Many workers and community members who are on the frontlines and cannot work remotely have had a disproportionate risk of exposure to the virus and will also be important to reach earlier. Priority groups are being further identified by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, based on federal guidance from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Additional guidance can be found on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine site.

“While we know our community is anxiously awaiting availability of the vaccine for everyone, we must remember that every vaccine given makes our county a little bit safer,” Harmon said. “We want our community members to have a good understanding of what the order will be, acknowledging that we will need to make some adjustments if revisions are made at the federal or state levels.”

Updates on vaccine availability and the timing for priority groups within Eagle County will be shared widely through many communications channels, including and the county’s social media platforms, as well as through partner organizations, local medical providers and local media outlets.

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