“Why’d I get the shot? I had no hesitancy. I’m 64, COVID will kill me,” said Mt. San Rafael Registered Nurse Clay Hart.

COVID-19 vaccines continue their rollout across the state and in Las Animas County.

Currently 1,140 first doses have been administered as Las Animas County moves into phase 1B of vaccinations focusing on moderate-risk healthcare workers, first responders, other frontline workers and those aged 70 years or older.

Today, Feb. 8, providers will be able to vaccinate anyone 65 and over, including continuing to prioritize those that are 70 and over who have not yet received a vaccine, announced the Las Animas Huerfano County District Health Department.

“I think because it’s such a new vaccine, and there are so many unknowns about it, that is what probably played the heaviest on my mind at the beginning. But after taking care of patients here in our COVID-19 unit and having personal family members and friends that had the illness itself, it came down to being able to protect my family, my friends and my coworkers and help stop, or slow the spread as much as we can,” said Mt. San Rafael Nurse Victoria Velarde.

Monday, Feb 8. also marks the opening of vaccine eligibility for K-12 educators across the state.

Gov. Polis announced that the State estimates that close to March 5, frontline workers, Coloradans ages 16-64 with two or more high-risk conditions and Coloradans ages 60 and up will also be eligible to receive the vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines appointments can be scheduled through Mt. San Rafael Hospital, Salud Clinic at Mt. Carmel Wellness Center, through the district health department and Safeway.

“If you’re hesitant and have questions please call, so we can help weigh up the concerns you have,” said Velarde.

Colorado has administered 586,025 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Feb. 1. 2021

The Astrazeneca, Janssen and Novavax COVID-19 vaccines are in phase three clinical trials before they approach the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval to begin distributing their vaccines to the United States.

The Las Animas Huerfano County Health Department executed the first mass vaccination in both counties, administering 1,000 doses between the counties on Feb. 1 and 2.

“I worked with the state of Colorado and explained to them that we have been training for mass vaccination for all 16 years I have been here,” said Health Director Kim Gonzales at the monthly Las Animas Huerfano County Board of Health meeting on Feb. 3.

The vaccination was only for eligible residents of the counties and was by appointment only emphasized Gonzales.

The Health department will continue to roll out the vaccine as doses are available and working through the state’s vaccine distribution plan.

Residents of Las Animas County who are eligible to receive the vaccine can schedule an appointment through the following sources:

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