DENVER — As Colorado hospitals see a shift in demographics receiving COVID-19 vaccines, many are preparing for a decline in demand.
The state's six publicly run vaccination sites now allow walk ups, and hospitals like Sky Ridge Medical Center are no longer requiring invitations to register for a vaccination appointment.
"The strategy is changing a little bit," said Adam Klatskin the director of emergency preparedness at Sky Ridge Medical Center. "Previously, we were sending out invitations, people were jumping on and they were filling these appointments. Now, we're able to just take people as they come to our website."
Medical experts attribute the decline in demand to the vaccine reaching younger populations who feel they do not need the vaccine as urgently.
Also, many of the populations in earlier priority groups had more availability to healthcare professionals to get signed up. Now, the younger, more hesitant populations remain.
Sky Ridge Medical Center has delivered 13,260 vaccines to date. Officials there say they are still delivering the same number of vaccines weekly, but it is easier now for Coloradans to get an appointment without the intense frenzy of the previous months.
"There's availability across the county and across the city here in the metro area for people to get their vaccine on days that work for them," Klatskin said. "We still expect to be able to utilize all the vaccine that we get and to fill all of our appointments."
The concern for doctors is less about booking appointments and more focused on convincing as many Coloradans to get vaccinated as possible to reach herd immunity.
Klatskin says Sky Ridge Medical Center and others across the state are working to improve access to vaccines in order to provide everyone with an opportunity to gain immunity from COVID-19.
"We were so used to people kind of jumping at the opportunity and now it is a little different," he said. "It's on us to understand the people that we're trying to reach, what they need and change our strategies to meet their needs."