Telluride Med Center: Comprehensive Vaccine Update!

Register for vaccine here.

Support Telluride Medical Center’s COVID Fund here.

For more information surrounding COVID resources, testing and the concern form, visit here.

For more information surrounding the state’s COVID-19 dial, visit here.

For additional Telluride Medical Center (TMC) information on COVID, go here.

TMC would love to hear from you about a topic for the next Medical Moment! Send your questions here.

The following is a vaccine update from Dr. Christine Mahoney.

Vaccination registration:

All full-time inhabitants of San Miguel County — even empaneled patients of the Telluride Regional Medical Center — should register with the San Miguel County Department of Public Health for a COVID-19 vaccine. Registering with Public Health is the best way to ensure you’re scheduled for a vaccine when you become eligible.

San Miguel County Department of Public Health schedules vaccinations. Please do not call the medical center to inquire about when you’ll be vaccinated.

Both our clinic and the Uncompahgre Medical Center are working with Public Health to distribute vaccines; San Miguel County Department of Public Health has taken on the massive job of contacting and scheduling vaccine appointments.

Snapshot of vaccination efforts: Johnson & Johnson vaccines are on the way:

The collaborative vaccine efforts of the Telluride Regional Medical Center, Uncompahgre Medical Center and the San Miguel County Department of Public Health has resulted in the administration of 2606 vaccines to people living in our county. (More numbers at the County’s Dashboard here).

San Miguel County Department of Public Health announced this week that Colorado will receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that was approved by the FDA on February 27. Read the Public Health release here.

500 doses of Colorado’s inventory are expected to be sent to San Miguel County next week. Our expectation is that we will not receive more than that first installation of 500 Johnson & Johnson vaccines until the end of March.

I like this New York Times article for how well it succinctly covers how the Johnson & Johnson vaccine works.

We’re excited to have more vaccines headed our way. Please, keep in mind, the goal of a vaccine is to prevent serious illness and death by COVID-19. All three vaccines approved by the FDA have proven to be very effective. The best vaccine is the one that is easily available!

Also keep in mind, this may not be your only vaccine. We’re still navigating this path, and it could be that additional booster vaccines or yearly vaccines are recommended.

Our goal is to stop the spread of this disease. The ability to vaccinate more people quickly is critical to building the herd immunity that will ultimately end this pandemic.

Vaccines this week:

During Saturday’s clinic, local collaborative vaccination efforts will focus on vaccinating those ages 65 – 69, and those over age 18 who have two or more high-risk factors for COVID-19 complications, plus essential frontline workers, including grocery store employees.

Specific outreach efforts are being made to vaccinate hard to reach populations who may not have access to technology or transportation, or who have communication barriers.

We are working to ensure everyone who is eligible and wants a vaccine can get one.

What is a high-risk factor? People age 18 and older with obesity, diabetes, severe chronic lung disease, significant heart disease, chronic kidney disease, cancer, or are immunocompromised.

Note: You will not be required to prove your high risk factors. Register your high-risk factors with San Miguel County Department of Public Health here.

Phases are meant to save lives

Our entire team of primary care providers would like to remind everyone: vaccine distribution phases are meant to save the most lives possible by vaccinating the most vulnerable populations first.

Please be respectful to the process, even when it may be inconvenient to wait for the phase rollout. If you’re registered with San Miguel County Department of Public Health, you will get an email or call to schedule your vaccine in the coming weeks and months.

We expect to move to Phase 1B:4 in the coming weeks. This next phase includes those over 50 and more frontline workers, specifically those who cannot maintain physical distance from others at their place of employment and who work in close contact with many people, especially indoors and in places with poor ventilation. All full-time inhabitants of San Miguel County should register for the vaccine with San Miguel County Public Health.

All full-time inhabitants of San Miguel County should register for the vaccine with San Miguel County Public Health.

Not sure what to do while you wait for your turn for a vaccine?

Help someone who is eligible for a vaccine to make an appointment!

Make sure your neighbors are registered with San Miguel County Department of Public Health or take some time to help someone land an appointment with a regional pharmacy. More on where to call for a vaccine here.

There are people in our community who face barriers, sometimes it’s language or child-care or transportation. For others, they simply lack the time it takes to navigate a path to a vaccine.

Our vaccine supply is determined by the state

Local vaccine supply provided to the Telluride Regional Medical Center, Uncompahgre Medical Center and San Miguel County Department of Public Health is determined by the Colorado Department of Health.

Working in partnership with Uncompahgre Medical Center and San Miguel County Department of Public Health, every single vaccine that is sent to our county goes into an arm of a member of our community within seven days.

Regional retail pharmacies offer vaccinations

The speed of which our clinic is able to vaccinate is determined by the amount of vaccines sent to our county each week from the Colorado Department of Health.

Our ongoing request, from the beginning, has been for the maximum amount possible. We are prepared to flex into mass vaccination clinics should greater supplies arrive.

In the meantime, if you are willing, able and eligible, we encourage you to schedule your vaccination with a retail pharmacy in a surrounding county.

Retail pharmacies have vaccine supplies that surpass our current supply.

By all means, if you are eligible and you can get vaccinated, go for it!

See here for more information and a message from the San Miguel County Department of Public Health. Note that you may need to check back several times before you find an opening.

Possible side effects from vaccines V. Effects of COVID-19

Any vaccine can cause side effects. For the most part these are minor (for example, a sore arm or low-grade fever) and go away within a few days.

Remember, the COVID-19 vaccines are continually monitored for safety, and like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects. However, a decision not to immunize involves risk and could others in danger.

Effects of COVID-19: Approximately 20 percent of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, other effects range from mild respiratory symptoms to fever and chills, to trouble breathing. Over 515,000 Americans have died of COVID-19.

Long-term effects of COVID-19 are still being studied. The most commonly reported long-term symptoms include:

• Fatigue
• Shortness of breath
• Cough
• Joint pain
• Chest pain

Preventing COVID-19 is the best way to ensure your short and long-term health. And the best ways to do that are still masks, social distancing, frequent hand washing and avoiding groups and poorly ventilated places.

Staff at the Telluride Med Center understand this is a stressful time, we’re so grateful for your continued patience!

Vaccine Registration 

There continue to be reasons for optimism as Colorado increases allocation and receives increasing numbers of vaccines from the federal government.

More soon…

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