Telluride Med Center: Latest 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.

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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.

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).

Vaccines this week:

A message from San Miguel County Public Health:

Phase 1B.4 to Commence Friday, March 19

Residents 50 and older, frontline essential workforce, higher education, residents with one high-risk condition.

Governor Jared Polis announced this afternoon that, as a result of supply increases and successful distribution, the state will commence phase 1B.4 two days ahead of schedule, on Friday, March 19. According to Governor Polis, the addition of phase 1B.4 will make about half of the state’s population eligible for the vaccine.

This final phase of vaccine administration in advance of the general public includes people 50 yeas of age and older, student-facing higher education employees and frontline essential workforce in the following categories:

•Food & restaurant services
• Manufacturing
• US Postal Service
• Public transit and specialized transportation
• Public health
• Human service workers
• Faith leaders
• Direct care providers for Coloradans experiencing homelessness
• Journalists
• Continuity of local government
• Continuation of operations for state government

Additionally, this phase will include continuity of local and state government and adults who received a placebo during a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial and residents ages 16 to 49 with one high risk condition including:

• Cancer – currently receiving treatment or treated within the last month
• Chronic kidney disease
• COPD
• Diabetes Mellitus
• Down Syndrome
• Specific heart conditions including heart failure, cardiomyopathies or coronary artery disease, and severe valvular/congenital heart disease
• Obesity (BMI > 30 kb/m2)
• Sickle Cell Disease
• Solid organ transplant
• Individuals with disabilities who require direct care in their home
• People with disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask

“We expect that every Coloradan will be eligible for the vaccine by mid-April,” said Polis in today’s press conference. “We now have the tools we need, the people power, infrastructure and scale. We’re ready vaccinate more Coloradans faster than ever before; we simply need the vaccine and the good news from Washington is the vaccine is coming.”

The state has vaccinated 76% of the population 70 years of age and older; 63% of those 65 to 69; and 90% of those working in childcare and education.

San Miguel County Public Health has begun scheduling residents eligible for phase 1B.4. No matter your eligibility group, in order to ensure you are contacted for a vaccine when eligible, visit the county COVID-19 website to complete the vaccine interest form: bit.ly/smcvaccine. Public Health will reach out to eligible residents as soon as supply allows.

For any questions, the CDPHE vaccine hotline can be reached 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at 1-877-COVAX-CO or 1-877-268-2926. San Miguel County

Public Health is also available via email at publichealth@sanmiguelcountyco.gov or on social media @smcpublichealth.

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, you will get an email 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.

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

Help someone who is eligible to make an appointment! Make sure your neighbors are registered with the County or take some time to help someone else 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 their 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 participate in vaccination efforts

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 San Miguel County Department of Public Health.

Note: 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!

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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