SM County: 2nd Vaccine Expecting Emergency Use Authorization This Week

Cases continue to rise in San Miguel County; FDA expected to approve Moderna within days.

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Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

This past weekend the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer vaccine, the first COVID-19 vaccine to be administered in the United States.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has determined that rural areas, like San Miguel County, will wait for the Modena vaccine due to the ultra-cold storage needed for the Pfizer vaccine.

Moderna, the second company to submit an application for an EUA, is expected to receive approval from the FDA later this week, meaning shipments could be distributed as early as next week. With 100 doses coming to San Miguel County Public Health and 100 to the Telluride Regional Medical Center, allocations of various numbers could be distributed as frequently as weekly thereafter.

Both Pfizer and Moderna produced mRNA vaccines which utilize a copy of an RNA sequence, or genetic code found in COVID-19 to initiate an immune reaction in the host’s system. This type of vaccine activates the immune system to build antibodies, essentially the body’s defense system, which would fight against COVID-19 and does so without actually introducing the virus into the body. Recipients of the vaccine will not actually come into contact with the virus itself during the vaccination process.

Phase I vaccine distribution to the county’s high-risk COVID-19 frontline workers is projected to begin in San Miguel County as early as next week with shipments arriving within days after the expected approval this week.

All candidates for Phase IA and Phase IB have been contacted by San Miguel County Public Health at this time to register for vaccination. This first phase will fine-tune registration and appointment processes to ensure distribution runs smoothly for the later phases across the county in the coming months.

“We are again at a critical juncture as we see our number of positive cases continue to rise due to both household and social interactions,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “While the end is in sight, we ask for patience at this time. The process with the supply chain as vaccines are distributed worldwide will be slow, but steady. We must remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting our community members.”

Public Health has confirmed 42 new positive cases of COVID-19 from test results received from December 11 through 15. Of these cases,39 are residents and all actively contagious cases are currently in isolation. There have been 345 total COVID cases among residents to date with 45 active cases.

To learn more about the County’s current COVID-19 metrics, please visit the County COVID-19 dashboard.

• 65-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, workplace
• 61-year-old male, resident, asymptomatic, travel
• 60-year-old male, nonresident, symptomatic, social
• 56-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, travel
• 54-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 53-year-old female, nonresident, symptomatic, social
• 51-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, community
• 50-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 49-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 45-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 43-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 42-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, social
• 40-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 39-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, workplace
• 39-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, community
• 37-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 36-year-old male, nonresident, symptomatic, social
• 36-year-old female, resident, asymptomatic, social
• 35-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, community
• 35-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, travel
• 33-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 33-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 33-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 29-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 28-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, travel
• 28-year-old female, resident, asymptomatic, household
• 27-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, social
• 27-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
26-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, workplace
26-year-old male, resident, asymptomatic, social
• 26-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 25-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 25-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 25-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, community
• 25-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 23-year-old male, resident, asymptomatic, household
• 23-year-old female, resident asymptomatic, social
• 22-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, social
• 22-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 21-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, social
• 20-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 2-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household

San Miguel County will continue posting caseload updates twice a week. The next update will be published on Friday, December 18.

Five Commitments of Containment:

Wear a mask
Maintain six feet of physical distance
Minimize group size
Wash hands frequently
Stay home when sick and get tested

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