First doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrive at some Colorado hospitals, while others wait for their share

Posted at 9:14 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2021-01-05 15:13:50-05

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — The COVID-19 vaccine arrived to Colorado on Monday, but it didn't arrive to every hospital in the state at the same time.

Centura Health will have to wait an extra day for the COVID-19 vaccine to arrive to its hospitals, which should arrive by noon on Tuesday. The belief is that all 5,755 vaccines will be administered by Friday.

Centura Health officials told Denver7 getting the vaccine is a seven-step process. It starts with workers providing identification and ends with the patient waiting 15 minutes after the vaccine has been administered in the case of an allergic reaction.

Centura Health's Chief Clinical Officer, Shauna Gulley, said most will experience a mild reaction similar to an influenza vaccine.

"We know that people who receive vaccines for 72 hours can experience a low-grade headache, low-grade temperature elevation, muscle aches and pains, and may have some feelings of fatigue. They should not have for symptoms of COVID-19 however," Dr. Gulley explained.

Dr. Gulley said all 15 Centura hospitals statewide are equipped with the proper cooling equipment for the Pfizer vaccine and that all 15 sites will administer the first round of vaccines and likely the second wave as well.

"We have identified healthcare workers who have the greatest exposure to patients with COVID-19 or COVID-19 products to be in our first grouping to receive the vaccines," Dr. Gulley explained.

Dr. Gulley said Monday the initial vaccination phase will only be given at a hospital. However, when we move into the community phases and when it's time for those at high risk to get their shots, it's not clear how things will be handled.

The Colorado State Joint Information Center told Denver7 in a statement, "Individual vaccine providers, in consultation with their local public health agencies, will need to use their best judgment about which patients may be eligible for vaccination during each of the phases."