Gunnison County reaches 8,861 people now fully vaccinated

12-15-year-olds may be able to get shots this weekend

[ By Kendra Walker ]

As vaccination numbers continue to steadily climb, Gunnison County continues to stay on track to reach the Memorial Day target for being able to lift most public health restrictions. Meanwhile, adolescents ages 12-15 may be able to get the shot in the arm as soon as this weekend.

According to Gunnison County public information officer Loren Ahonen, 8,861 county residents are fully vaccinated, with 10,262 first doses delivered. “We can reach the 10,000 threshold by Memorial Day if people continue to receive their second doses to complete the cycle. Additionally, those receiving one shot of Johnson & Johnson are also considered fully vaccinated.” Reaching the 10,000-vaccinated mark will allow the county to hit the “Green” level of the Coronameter, where most public health restrictions would be eliminated.

Folks are encouraged to get their second shot scheduled. “If you are overdue for your second shot, do not hesitate to show up at a walk-in clinic where Pfizer and Moderna are being offered,” said Ahonen.

Upcoming vaccine clinics are on Thursday, May 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. at the Fred Field Center, and Saturday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Community Banks of Colorado in Gunnison.

The Pfizer vaccine is also expected to become available for adolescents ages 12 to 15 by the end of the week. According to Ahonen, once the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has made a recommendation, the vaccine will be available to those age groups at any state-run vaccination site delivering the Pfizer vaccine.

“That means that we would be able to provide the vaccine to adolescents with parental consent at any of our vaccine clinics delivering the Pfizer vaccine. Gunnison County clinics at the Fred Field Center continue to offer Pfizer,” said Ahonen.

The county is also considering future mobile clinics to deliver the vaccine at places of work, where hours of operation might prevent employees from accessing the existing clinic hours. The county is gauging preliminary interest within the business community.

COVID numbers
There have been four COVID-19 positive results within Gunnison County in the last week, with most of those results in outlying Gunnison County, said Ahonen. “Our numbers look stable in recent weeks. We do not have any current hospitalizations and the last Gunnison County hospitalization was an overnight stay on 4/30/21.”

The low COVID positives and high vaccination numbers are encouraging. Ahonen credits the community’s hard work in staying the course. “Gunnison County residents have responded to the call in seeking to protect themselves, their families and community through vaccination,” he said. “We are well on the path to achieving a high vaccination rate and regaining a sense of normalcy. We encourage everyone to finish the job they started! We are better together and collectively our community continues to embody that spirit.”

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