About 75% of Colorado adults — about 3.4 million people — have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as the number of shots going into arms continues to slowly increase.
Coverage was lower among teens, with 55% of those ages 12 to 17 getting at least one shot. Children 12 and older can get the Pfizer vaccine, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots are options for people who are 16 or older.
When factoring in teens, about 73% of all eligible Coloradans have received their first shot — and about 66% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated, ranking Colorado behind 13 states and the District of Columbia.
The state is 21st when comparing the percentage of eligible residents who have had at least one shot, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The state had hit the goal of at least partially vaccinating 70% of adults on July 3. Since then, some employers have announced mandates, and the state Board of Health voted Monday to require nearly all health care workers to get vaccinated.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment estimated about 4,300 doses have gone into arms each day for the past week. New vaccinations have risen slowly for five weeks, and likely will for a sixth as data continues to come in. While the number of shots per week is down significantly from the peak in early April, it’s up about 40% since early July.
Gov. Jared Polis said the milestone was “pivotal” in the effort to contain the more-contagious delta variant.
“More and more people are getting off the sidelines and protecting themselves. But we need more Coloradans to safeguard their health and the health of their loved ones against this deadly virus, so I urge Coloradans to get the safe, effective and FDA-approved vaccine,” he said in a news release.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for people 16 and older last week. An application to approve it for younger teens is still pending.
The state still had about 350,000 unused doses in late July that have to be used or thrown out by late September. About 80,000 doses, all of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, are left as of Tuesday, and the state expects to use them all as initial doses or boosters before they expire, said Jessica Bralish, spokeswoman for the state health department.
Counties still vary widely in their level of protection. More than 93% of eligible people in San Juan County are fully vaccinated, but just under 30% are in Cheyenne County.
In the Denver area, the percentage of eligible people who are fully vaccinated is:
- Broomfield: 79.2%
- Boulder County: 76.5%
- Denver: 73.5%
- Jefferson County: 72.5%
- Douglas County: 70.7%
- Arapahoe County: 68%
- Adams County: 64.5%
Dr. Eric France, chief medical officer for the state health department, said people should get vaccinated, but continue to take other precautions like washing their hands, wearing masks in public and social distancing when possible.
“We know that vaccines are extremely effective at protecting us from severe COVID-19, hospitalization or death,” he said in a news release. “With the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant, now’s the time to make sure you’re protected so we can stop the spread of this virus.”
To find a vaccination clinic, visit covid19.colorado.gov/vaccinefinder.
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