Lack of interest puts early end to Pitkin County’s mass vaccination clinics
Last of large-scale events April 22-23; local pharmacies, doctors will be administering shots
Public health officials will end Pitkin County’s mass vaccination clinics earlier than expected after numerous cancellations last week and dwindling local interest in getting vaccinated, a spokeswoman said Monday.
“The challenge in filling appointments last week was telling,” said Tracy Trulove, a Pitkin County spokeswoman.
Initially, the county’s public health department planned to move the mass vaccination clinics from the Benedict Music Tent parking lot to the Buttermilk Ski Area parking lot at the end of April and hold clinics there the first two weeks of May, with the last clinic scheduled for May 14.
But after many people canceled vaccination appointments Friday, and with others displaying a lack of interest in the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, officials decided to spare the expense of staging mass clinics in May, Trulove said.
Officials will administer 1,170 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine Thursday at the Benedict Music Tent parking lot, though the county received zero doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week, she said. The final two mass vaccination clinics will be held at the Benedict site April 22 and 23, Trulove said.
After that, the clinical arm of the public health department — Community Health Services — will administer vaccines, as will local primary care physicians and pharmacies, she said. The county will stop ordering vaccines from the state after next week in favor of the smaller distribution systems.
Clark’s Pharmacy and City Market Pharmacy are offering vaccine appointments locally, Trulove said. Those who want to find a place to receive a vaccine can go to Pitkin County’s website at https://covid19.pitkincounty.com and look for the vaccine finder.
Public health officials also are reserving 150 Pfizer doses for local 16- and 17-year-olds, who were notified of the vaccine availability through the Aspen School District, Trulove said. As of Monday, 95 of those 150 appointments had been filled, she said.
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Vaccinations for the first group of Aspen-area kids to include 12-to-15-year-olds will take place Thursday at Aspen High School.