Chaffee County Public Health is planning mass vaccination clinics specifically to administer booster COVID-19 vaccine doses for those who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and are eligible at the time of the clinics.
The mass booster clinics will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10 at Chaffee County Fairgrounds, 10165 CR 120, by appointment only.
The public is asked to come at their assigned time to mitigate traffic concerns. There is no reason to arrive early, as there is an ample vaccine supply, according to a press release.
The booster is free, although officials encourage participants to fill out the paperwork ahead of time. The clinics are intended and prioritized for Chaffee County residents as well as residents from surrounding counties.
Clinic appointment links went live Monday and will be posted at www.chaffeecounty.rsvpify.com.
Anyone who needs assistance with making an appointment through the scheduler can call Public Health’s main office at 719-539-4510 or seek help from a community service provider, family member or friend.
Currently, the following populations are approved for the Moderna booster shot at six months or more after their initial series:
• Age 65 and older.
• Age 18 and older who live in long-term care settings.
• Age 18 and older who have underlying medical conditions.
• Age 18 and older who work or live in high-risk settings.
For the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
Individuals do not need to present an ID, insurance or proof of medical history to receive a booster. Boosters are still free, and people do not need to be a resident of Colorado or of a particular county to receive a booster.
Currently, the definition of “fully vaccinated” does not change with the booster dose authorization. People are still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This definition applies to all people, including individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised who receive an additional dose at least 28 days after completing their initial primary series.
The medical conditions included in the booster rollout can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html.
All three vaccines are still providing significant protection and immunity from COVID-19. Those who have been fully vaccinated are 3.3 times less likely to become a COVID-19 case, 5.2 times less likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 and 3.7 times less likely to die from COVID-19, Public Health reported.
Multiple vaccine and booster providers are available throughout the county. The public is asked to check out the vaccine provider list on Chaffee County’s COVID-19 website for an updated list of locations administering booster shots.
In addition, Chaffee County Public Health is working closely with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to host regular vaccine and booster mobile clinics throughout the remainder of the year on Fridays and Saturdays. The next dates are Friday in Salida at Alpine Park and Saturday in Buena Vista at Railroad and Main Street. More details will be released later.
In addition, Public Health is planning to offer mass vaccination events once the Pfizer vaccine is approved for ages 5-11. Approval is expected soon. Tentative dates are set for first and second doses in Salida and Buena Vista in hopes of protecting as many families from the virus moving into the holiday season. Once finalized, the schedule will be released to the public.
Public Health Director Andrea Carlstrom said, “CCPH and our local healthcare providers have done everything possible to protect our beloved county from the impacts of COVID-19 over the past 20 months through testing, isolation and quarantine and vaccinations. It is really in the hands of our community members to do the right thing to prevent the continued spread of this deadly virus that has taken its toll on our nation’s healthcare system while taking the lives of almost 750,000 people since last spring. As of today, 74.7 percent of our county’s eligible population has received its first dose of vaccine, and 69.9 percent is fully vaccinated.
“The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective with almost everyone vaccinated avoiding severe illness, hospitalization and death. While boosters are important to protect our highest risk populations, we must continue to increase vaccination rates of first and second doses at the same time, especially now that our 5- to 11-year-old children will be eligible very soon. Let’s all do what we can now to ensure a safe, healthy, and ‘normal’ upcoming holiday season.”