FEMA will take over Pueblo mass vaccination site on April 14 for 8-week pilot

Site currently being run by state; aim is to increase number of vaccines distributed
Virus Outbreak Colorado Vaccine j&j
Posted at 11:18 AM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 13:19:56-04

DENVER – The Federal Emergency Management Agency will take over operations of the community vaccination site at the State Fairgrounds in Pueblo for eight weeks starting April 14 in an effort to increase the number of vaccinations administered in southern Colorado.

The fairgrounds site has been running for several weeks as one of the state’s six mass vaccination clinics. The new partnership with FEMA aims to increase the number of doses administered at the site from 1,750 to 3,000 each day, according to the governor’s office.

The FEMA pilot program will run for eight weeks and will be transitioned over from the state site in partnership with the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The governor’s office said along with the drive-up site at the fairgrounds, the plan is to increase the number of mobile vaccination clinics across southern Colorado as well.

Vaccinations can be scheduled through Centura Health by clicking here. The site at the fairgrounds will operate seven days a week starting at 7 a.m.

The state and FEMA say that they to announce the locations and hours for the mobile clinics in coming days, but said the static and mobile sites would hopefully be able to get more people in Alamosa, Bent, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, Fremont, Huerfano, Las Animas, Otero, Prowers, Rio Grande and Saguache counties vaccinated.

“FEMA is pleased to continue supporting the State of Colorado in its efforts to ensure everyone eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine has access to one. This Pilot Site not only boosts vaccine supply with additional vaccine doses, it supports the larger mobile effort to reach across southern Colorado into rural communities,” said FEMA Region 8 Acting Administrator Nancy Dragani.

Data from the state show that some southern Colorado counties are among the leaders in total vaccine doses administered per 100,000 people, while others – particularly along the southeastern plains – are lagging behind.

“Our partnership with the Pueblo community, and leaders like Sheriff Kirk Taylor, Public Health Director Randy Evetts and Mayor Nick Gradisar, has been essential as we have worked to vaccinate folks at our State Community Vaccination site, and now as we make this important transition, we have an opportunity to get even more vaccines into arms, and help our state build back stronger. This partnership with FEMA is going to help more Coloradans get the protection they need even faster,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement Monday. “…With this transition, we’ll be able to increase supply for the site, and reach more folks in many of our rural and agricultural communities, making it quick, easy, and convenient for them to get vaccinated.”