Miraculously, less than a year into this pandemic, the vaccine is here. Also, good news: Colorado, in comparison to other states, has been generally successful at distributing our supply as it comes in. Be sure to check out the Colorado vaccine dashboard for details!
In early January, as Colorado began moving into Phase 1B, we were so grateful to receive a call from Foothills member Doug Whitman, a physician at Salud community health clinic. Salud was trying to get numerous people into their clinic in just a few days, and he wondered if we could help. A team of volunteers headed by our Program Coordinator, Amy Gage, reached out to as many of you over age 70 as possible to see if you were interested. Within a few days, we had a list of nearly 200.
In the meantime, Salud started preparing their systems for a big push. Another Salud staff member, Courtney Butnor (who is also a Foothills member and the Lead for our Food Bank!) started making her way through scheduling our list. However, Governor Polis then got news the Trump administration lied about the supplies available. As a result, Salud put a hold on scheduling until things got sorted.
In the last week, Courtney started working through the list again, getting over 100 people scheduled to be vaccinated! She had trouble reaching about 30 on her list, so if you expected a call but didn’t connect, and you still need a vaccine, please contact Amy as soon as possible. You can reach Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org or our main church line, 970-493-5906.
At this same time, many other options to receive the vaccine came online. I’m hearing about many who have received a first shot. Every single one brings me to tears of joy and relief. Despite everything, human goodwill and the scientific process have triumphed.
Still, there’s a long way to go. The most important priority at this point is getting everyone eligible scheduled to receive a vaccine. If you or someone you know hasn’t been scheduled, we’ve listed the options of which we are aware below.
If you or someone you know has tech challenges or might otherwise struggle to get this figured out on their own, please do not hesitate to reach out. We will connect you with resources! We are truly, literally, all in this together.
- UC Health – Established patients with UC Health (if you’ve ever been to any UC Health clinic ever!) are receiving random invitations through the online portal to schedule their vaccine. The invitations are extremely time-limited, though. So if you miss the window, you go back in the cue. Don’t panic if this happens to you! There are many other options. If you aren’t a UC Health patient, you can still get your name on this list by setting up an account at this site.
- Banner Health – Banner is distributing vaccines using a form on their website, here. I have heard less about the wait time on this, but I do know some who have gotten their vaccine through Banner, so go for it.
- Salud – Now that Salud is getting a steady stream of people in for the vaccine, they’ve moved exclusively to an online form that you can find here. In other words, if you didn’t get on our original list, simply fill out this form. Courtney will still be calling you asap!
- King Soopers Pharmacies – We’ve heard that the pharmacies on College and Drake, in Loveland on 29th, and in Windsor and Greeley are starting to schedule COVID vaccines. Go to the website or call 1-866-211-5320 to schedule. Don’t call the pharmacies directly as they are already overwhelmed!
Another note: whether or not you qualify for phase 1B or one of the next phases, be sure to fill out the County’s Tracking Form indicating your interest in receiving the vaccine. We’re not sure how they’ll use this data, but it seems it can’t hurt them in their planning process.
The state has set a goal to get everyone over age 70 their first dose by the end of February. Larimer County estimates this will mean over 40,000 people. I know some wonder if they should step aside for those who may “need it more.” This is a case where the faster we can move through this phase, the better for everyone. So please accept a vaccine as soon as it is offered, and let’s keep going!
Speaking of, in terms of next steps, we are working with Courtney and others to set up a mobile vaccination site at Foothills. We are considering offering the mobile site at an overlapping time with our Food Bank, especially as we are mindful of the need to more actively reach out to those who may not otherwise have access. We have begun to collect volunteer names to help with our mobile vaccination site, as well as with other Salud efforts. Thank you to those who have already volunteered! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Amy Gage at email@example.com to get on the list.
Without sufficient leadership or planning at the national level, local communities need to step up to get this vaccine distributed. We will need to rely on our informal networks and the basic human impulse towards kindness and care to bring this pandemic – and all that comes with it – to an end. It’s a time when we all need to consider this as our shared work and our shared responsibility. While it is on the Governor (and in turn the Federal government) to get the vaccines to our community, it is on us to get these vaccines into arms.
This is why we’ve taken our role in this process so seriously and will continue to do whatever we can to allocate and organize resources, get the word out, and mobilize volunteers throughout the next few months. Because when we talk about unleashing courageous love, sometimes what we mean is simply harnessing the power of human kindness for our common good. Despite all we may see in the headlines, kindness remains an inexhaustible and renewable resource. As the KINDemic demonstrated so well, all we need to do is keep passing it on.
As Rev. Elaine said on Sunday, hang in there. You’re doing a good job. We’re getting through this together.
With love, and in partnership,