When can you get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Maya Miserlian

When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine? This question is pondering many people’s minds as we continue to trek through these uncharted waters. Now that Littleton Public Schools has confirmed the return of students to full in person learning beginning March 15th, people are especially concerned about when they will be vaccinated. Colorado has a very detailed plan for vaccine distribution that is already underway. 

Who has already been vaccinated? Colorado has already completed vaccine phases 1A and 1B.1, which gives vaccine eligibility to some elderly people and health care workers. Specifically, Phase 1A included: people exposed to COVID-19 patients for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period and long term care facility staff and residents. Phase 1b.1 included: people aged 70 and over, health care workers with less direct contact with COVID-19 patients, EMS, firefighters, police, COVID-19 response personnel, correctional workers, and funeral services. Once someone becomes eligible for the vaccine, they are always eligible, even if the state has moved on past their phase.

Colorado is currently in Phase 1B.2, which includes those in the school system: bus, food, teachers, counselors, administrators, safety, and other school support services. This phase also gives eligibility to: people aged 65-69, child

 care workers in licensed child care programs, and select members of the Executive and Judicial branches of state government. As of February 22nd, 2021, 801,329 Coloradans have been vaccinated with one dose, and 388,490 have been fully vaccinated with both doses. 

The next phase is 1B.3, which includes frontline essential workers in food and agriculture, manufacturing, U.S. postal service, public transit and special transportation staff, grocery, public health, human service workers, faith leaders, frontline journalists, care providers for the homeless, and people aged 16-64 with two or more health conditions (see graphic for qualifying conditions). As of February 2nd, Governor Jared Polis has moved restaurant workers to Phase 1B.3, up from Phase 2. Phase 1B.3, holding about a fifth of Colorado’s population, or 1,150,000 people, is set to begin in early March. 

Next is Phase 2, which encompasses: people aged 60-64, those aged 16-64 with one health

 condition that is listed (see graphic), local continuity of local government, continuation of operations for state government, and adults who received the placebo during the vaccine trials. This group of people will become eligible for the vaccine this spring.

Finally, Phase 3 is set to start this summer, and includes all other people aged 16-59. As of now, the COVID-19 vaccine is not approved for those under the age of 16, so this group is not included in the phased distribution. 

This schedule is subject to change, based on supply and execution. As dates of eligibility near, some groups may split into smaller subsections. The COVID-19 vaccine is currently not approved for those under the age of 16.

It is exciting to watch the progress of the vaccine distribution in Colorado. Once we reach herd immunity, meaning 70% of the population is immune (vaccinated), life should begin to return to normal. With the current distribution schedule, that is set to happen this summer, but it will fully depend on supply and execution.


Still not sure where you fit into the vaccine distribution? Visit https://coloradosun.com/2021/02/02/colorado-coronavirus-vaccine-priority-guide/#Q105 

Want to stay up to date on vaccine distribution? Visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine