SJBPH emphasizes limited availability of COVID-19 vaccine


San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) understands that many Archuleta and La Plata county residents are eager to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and we appreciate their commitment to protect friends, family, and community and slow the spread of the virus. SJPBH is committed to ensuring that everyone who wants vaccine can receive it.

Currently, the supply of COVID-19 vaccine is very limited with the state of Colorado receiving approximately 70,000 doses of vaccine each week for a population of 5.8 million residents. The vaccine distribution issues resulting in limited quantities in the Southwest Colorado region are being experienced by local public health agencies both nationwide and statewide.

The state’s original COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan was revised by the governor to move individuals who are 70 years or older into a higher-priority category enabling them to receive vaccinations sooner than originally planned. With the help of numerous partners, SJPBH continues to expand the local vaccine distribution system in anticipation of receiving more vaccines.

Both Archuleta and La Plata counties are currently vaccinating individuals in the 1A phase which includes high-priority healthcare workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities, as well as some categories of people in the 1B phase including first responders, moderate-risk healthcare workers, and people 70 years and older.

A range of entities are providing vaccines for these groups including hospitals, pharmacies, healthcare systems, and others, however, hospital systems have been designated by the state to lead the 70+ vaccination effort.

According to the state of Colorado, of the more than 10,000 individuals in the 65+ population in La Plata County, less than 10% have received their first vaccination dose. In Archuleta County, roughly 30% of the 65+ population have been vaccinated – 1,150 out of 3,829 individuals. (Note: These figures are the 65+ population, as reported by the state, though the current phase of vaccine eligibility is 70+.)

SJBPH is encouraging anyone interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to share their contact information to receive a weekly email notification with an update on vaccine availability. The notification sign-up is not to make vaccine appointments, but to provide information as to where vaccine may be available for eligible individuals. The notification forms are available in both English and Spanish.

Limited quantities of COVID-19 vaccine means that there are limited numbers of vaccination appointments for those who are eligible. SJPBH understands that it is frustrating for individuals who are eager to be vaccinated to not be able to schedule a vaccine appointment. Continue to check for open appointments at the locations shared through the notification email. Please do not call vaccine providers unless they have requested, as many do not have the capacity to return calls.

Please do not sign up for an appointment if you are not in an eligible category. This will only slow the vaccination distribution process.

SJBPH appreciates your patience and cooperation in what is an every-changing and complex process of vaccine administration. The agency continues to work with numerous partners to provide COVID-19 vaccine to all individuals who want it and to share information as it becomes available.

SJBPH continues to urge everyone to follow these important public health precautions: 

  • Wearing face masks.
  • Social distancing of at least 6 feet.
  • Avoiding nonessential indoor spaces, and gatherings with others not in your household.
  • Getting tested if you are symptomatic, think you’ve been exposed, or if you work in a high-contact position.
  • Avoiding travel.
  • Washing hands well.
  • Getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

For information on vaccine and to share contact information to receive vaccine notifications visit:

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