With so much information released daily about the COVID-19 virus and its corresponding vaccines, it can prove difficult to track down pertinent and accurate information. Boulder County has begun administering vaccinations to certain residents and will continue to open up availability to people based on a variety of factors. Here’s what Boulder County residents should know about the COVID-19 vaccines.
When will the general public receive the vaccine?
Currently, Boulder County is vaccinating individuals in Phase 1A and 1B. This includes hospital and outpatient care health providers, nursing home residents and staff, 70+ residents, first responders, and moderate-risk health care workers.
The health department estimates that the general public will be vaccinated in mid2021 during Phase 3. The “general public” is composed of residents ages 16-59 that do not work in any high or moderate risk environments. Sign up here to be notified when it’s your group’s turn.
How much does the vaccine cost?
The U.S. Government is paying for the actual vaccine but individuals receiving it will most likely need to pay administration fees at the facility. Companies administering the vaccine can bill insurance for approximately $23 and seek reimbursement for vaccines provided to uninsured individuals through Health Resources & Services Administration.
When does the vaccine start to provide immunity?
The time between receiving the first dose of the vaccine and having protection from COVID vary on a person-to-person basis. However, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine begin to offer some sort of protection days after the first injection. Since both require a booster shot 3-4 weeks after the initial injection, neither vaccine will be completely effective until the second dose is administered. Even still, both companies show approximately 95% efficacy, meaning that 5% of the population won’t build immunity to COVID-19 even with the vaccine.
How long does the vaccine last?
Since the vaccine was produced in record speed, there simply hasn’t been enough time to gauge how long it may offer protection. Scientists and researchers note that those who build a natural immunity to COVID through infection can have antibodies in their systems for many months to a year. Based on studies of similar vaccines, protection is estimated to be a few years from the second dose.
Where do I go to receive the vaccine?
If you have a primary care doctor, check with their office to see if they are administering vaccines. So far, 12 national pharmacies (including Kroger, CVS, and Walgreens) have contracts to provide the vaccine. Additionally, local health care providers and clinics are starting to provide them, as well. Signing up for notifications via Boulder County’s portal is the best way to know when and where you can go to receive your vaccine when it’s your turn.
The number of active COVID cases and vaccines distributed remains in a constant state of flux. To stay up to date, check Colorado’s vaccine data page, which is frequently updated. Additionally, Boulder County hosts weekly virtual meetings for county residents to log on and obtain the latest on how the local government and health department are handling COVID updates.