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Vail Health Hospital nurse Diane Schmidt holds up a mock COVID-19 vaccine vial at the hospital on December 8, 2020. (Pool photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

Colorado will receive its first shipment of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday morning and then begin inoculating health care workers later in the day, the governor’s office said.

The news comes after the Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a vaccine manufactured by Pfizer for emergency use. The vaccine is being quickly shipped across the country to be administered.

State officials have been planning for weeks to receive the vaccine, including how to best secure it and quickly distribute it across Colorado.


The latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado:

  • MAP: Cases and deaths in Colorado.
  • TESTINGHere’s where to find a community testing site. The state is now encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested.
  • VACCINE HOTLINE: Get up-to-date information.


Health care workers and nursing home residents and staff will be first to get inoculated in Colorado. It could be until the summer of 2021 before the general public has access to the vaccine.

Gov. Jared Polis is urging Colorado hospitals to administer the COVID-19 vaccination within 72 hours of receiving it.

“We need to be ready to hit the ground running,” Polis said in a written statement. “Our ability to quickly vaccinate prioritized populations and report those doses as administered to the Colorado Immunization Information System is paramount to Colorado’s ability to receive future allocations of COVID vaccine and end this public health crisis.”

Colorado has 46,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on order. The state was also planning to submit an order for 95,600 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine being manufactured by Moderna, which could arrive in about a week.

Both vaccines must be administered in two doses within a three-week period to be most effective.

COVID-19 had sickened nearly 290,000 people in Colorado through Sunday, almost 4,000 of whom have died.

Jesse Paul

The Colorado Sun — Desk: 720-432-2229 Jesse Paul is a political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is...