On behalf of the Health Center at Auraria, I want to provide you an update on our COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans for campus institutions. We continue to await word from state and federal health officials on when the vaccine will be available for our Point of Dispensing (POD) site at the Fifth Street Garage. The Health Center at Auraria has partnered with COVIDCheck Colorado and its contractor, Primary Bio, in an effort to meet the demand for vaccines. While vaccine access is a fluid situation, we believe we will have the resources to start vaccinations for priority groups near the end of February.
Each of the four Auraria institutions has affiliate lists for categories involving age (such as 65+) and job classification (such as moderate-risk healthcare workers) that currently qualify for Phases 1B.1 and 1B.2. When vaccine becomes available, random selection from each of the lists will occur and individuals will receive an email invitation from Primary Bio, with instructions for scheduling a vaccine appointment. We expect this to occur in the next several weeks.
Please note that, due to supply limitations, not all individuals in a defined category will receive email invitations at the same time. If, in the meantime, you have vaccine access through your healthcare provider or another community option, we encourage you to take the earliest opportunity to be vaccinated. We expect that the Auraria POD vaccination process will extend into the fall semester as we follow state priority guidelines for Phase 1 (Winter), Phase 2 (Spring), and Phase 3 (Summer).
Over the past week, pre-K-12 educators and childcare workers were added to Phase 1B.2 and are now eligible for the vaccine. The reasoning behind this is to create a safer environment for in-person learning. Campus leadership at the Auraria Higher Education Center and its three-member institutions believe that higher education should be included in priority categories, too. In coordination with other colleges and universities, Auraria campus leaders and government relations teams continue to strongly advocate for this with state officials. Regardless, we are required to follow the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) phase categories for vaccine prioritization.
Our office has received many questions from Auraria constituents and we’ve done our best to answer Frequently Asked Questions in a list on our website. One common question is whether family members of Auraria constituents will be eligible for the vaccine. At this time, only campus constituents will be eligible.
We know you have many other questions on the vaccine itself and when you may be eligible to receive it. I would encourage you to visit the Health Center at Auraria’s vaccine FAQ page. Another helpful resource is this CU Anschutz School of Medicine article where four immunologists talk about vaccine safety and myths. The CDPHE has also set up a 24/7 vaccine hotline at 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926).
Steve Monaco, Director
Health Center at Auraria