Colorado Gov. Jared Polis gets his first COVID-19 vaccine shot from medical assistant Staci Ramirez at the Salud Family Health Center in Commerce City January 30, 2021. (Pool photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

COMMERCE CITY — Gov. Jared Polis received his first dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine on Saturday, saying he wanted to lead by example in showing Coloradans that it is safe to be inoculated against COVID-19. 

“Really? I didn’t even really feel it. That was amazing. That was easy,” Polis said after he was vaccinated by Medical Assistant Staci Ramriez at Salud Family Health Centers in Commerce City.

Staff at the clinic cheered after Polis received the vaccine.

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Polis, 45, said he received the vaccine because he is among about 200 people who were given priority access to ensure continuity of government. Others in his age group likely won’t receive the vaccine until this summer unless they have two or more comorbidities.

“Since I’ve been telling everybody ‘of course you should get the vaccine when it’s your turn,’ I am going to put my arm where my mouth is,” he said. “I just want to lead by example. It’s no big deal. It doesn’t hurt.”

Polis said he hoped receiving the vaccine would show other people that it’s safe. 

The governor chatted with older Coloradans who were waiting in line to receive the vaccine before he got his shot.

Right now, the state is vaccinating people 70 years old and above. People between the ages of 65 and 69, as well as teachers and child care workers, will have access to the vaccine starting on Feb. 8. 

So far, 424,036 Coloradans — including front-line health care workers and nursing home residents and staff — have received a first dose of the vaccine. 

Polis, who contracted coronavirus late last year but only suffered mild symptoms, will have to return to Salud Family Health Centers for a second dose of the vaccine in about a month.

Some people do experience mild, flu-like side effects for a short period after receiving the Moderna and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines. The vaccines are supposed to be administered in two doses three or four weeks apart.

Polis said people who contract COVID-19 should wait at least a month until after they recover to get the vaccine. For people who get monoclonal antibody treatment after catching the virus, they should wait three months.

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...