Over 70 years? Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine? When and Where to get?

ALLERGY & ASTHMA CARE AND PREVENTION CENTER

COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE

Dear Patient Over 70 years:

I am writing to give you a brief update on the status of the COVID-19 vaccine for person’s age 70 years and older in Colorado.  Last week, Governor Polis made a change to the tier Phase 1B for COVID-19 vaccination to include those persons who are age 70 or older due to their high risk of serious complications or death associated with infection.  For many counties in Colorado, they are approaching the start of Phase 1B and therefore, if you are 70 years or older, you will be eligible to receive the vaccine in the next 1-4 weeks.

I ask for your patience as we receive new guidance and information daily from the Governor’s office, from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and from local healthcare systems.  The biggest current issue is a lack of vaccine.  This will hopefully be addressed in the next weeks, as new shipments of vaccine are arriving in the state each day.

Unfortunately, there are still many logistical issues and questions that have not yet been resolved.  Below are some common questions with the current answer.

If I am 70 years old or older, do I need any documentation to receive the vaccine? 

No, just an ID.

Where can I get the vaccine?

Right now and in Denver metro area, the only places that have vaccine available for >70 years old include the UC Health system and Denver Health system.  They have very limited supply and are working on a lottery system for their CURRENT patients.  If you are a patient of UC Health or Denver Health, check your email regularly.  They are sending out email invitations to schedule a vaccine appointment.  You have 48 hours to respond before you are put back into the line.

  • We expect to hear from Centura, HealthOne and Kaiser systems this week
  • We also expect to hear about local sites such as Safeway, Walgreens and CVS as well as public heath clinics or sites.
  • Right now, there is NO place to call to schedule or to get an appointment. The only way to get the vaccine is if you are contacted directly from a site that has available vaccine.
  • We do not have vaccine and will NOT have vaccine in the next few months/early phase of vaccination
  • Be patient; the vaccine shortage and lack of sites available will change in the next 1-4 weeks.

If I have allergies, should I get the vaccine?

Yes, the only reason to NOT get the vaccine is if you have had a reaction to that specific COVID-19 vaccine in the past.  If you have allergies, plan to wait at the vaccination site for 15-30 minutes.  If you already carry an epinephrine auto-injector for other types of allergic reactions, plan to bring it with you for the vaccination.  If you do not have an epinephrine auto-injector, the site will have epinephrine available should you need it.  You do not need to fill a new prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector.

Is one vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) better than the other for a patient with allergies?

At this time, both appear to be very safe for all patients.  We recommend that you accept whichever vaccine is available at the time of your vaccination.  Both vaccines will require a 2nd dose.  It is important that you get the same vaccine for both doses.  Pfizer is given at least 21 days apart and Moderna is given at least 28 days apart.

 

If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact our office.  I ask, again, for patience.  We will do our best to provide you with the most current information available, but this is a rapidly changing situation. 

 

– Lora J Stewart, MD and Meghan F Garcia, MD

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