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COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccination information for individuals in the 70+ population:

Please know local vaccine providers are diligently working to bring the COVID-19 vaccination to residents in the 70+ population as quickly as possible. Limitations on vaccine supply, however, are causing delays in registration and administration of vaccinations. We know any delay is frustrating, but we appreciate everyone’s patience as these agencies work together to make sure vaccines are distributed safely and efficiently. As vaccines are shipped to and distributed by the state, local vaccine providers receive varying quantities at various times. Each entity has a process to schedule appointments for people who want the vaccine. Please know, there are approximately 30,000 residents in Weld County who meet the criteria to receive the vaccine at this time. Please also know that as vaccines become more readily available, the delivery systems for each agency will improve. We appreciate your understanding and your patience.


COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard

Weld County COVID-19 Vaccination Data

The Weld County COVID-19 Vaccination Data Dashboard numbers include Weld County residents only. Vaccine administration data may be subject to reporting delays and counts of administered vaccines can increase over time. Vaccine providers have 72 hours to report vaccination data to the state. Both vaccines approved by the FDA, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, are included in these counts. Weld County vaccination data will be updated once per week.

Where to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine

The initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to be very limited for several months. This means a vaccine will not be immediately available to everyone who wants one. To be as fair and efficient with distribution as possible, the state has developed a phased approach. To see where in Weld County vaccines are available, go to the Where to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.

Until a vaccine is widely available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages you to keep wearing a mask, socially distancing, avoiding gatherings, and washing hands often.


Frequently Asked Questions

Vaccine Distribution

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine and when?

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution TimelineClick photo to view an enlarged image. 

Weld County is following the COVID-19 vaccine distribution phases established by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The following groups are currently eligible to register and receive COVID-19 vaccination:

Phase 1A: Highest-risk health care workers and individuals

  • People who have direct contact with COVID-19 patients 
  • Long-term care facility staff and residents

Phase 1B: Moderate risk individuals and people ages 70+

  • Correctional facility workers
  • COVID response personnel
  • Emergency medical service personnel
  • Firefighters
  • Funeral services workers
  • Healthcare workers
  • Long-term care facility staff
  • Long-term care residents
  • People age 70 years and older
  • Police

After Phase 1 is complete, we will proceed to Phases 2 and 3. Phases 2 and 3 are as follows: 

  • Phase 2: Higher-risk individuals and other essential workers. These are people ages 60-69; people of any age with underlying health conditions; other essential workers not included in Phase 1B or necessary for the continuity of local government; and adults who received a placebo during COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.
  • Phase 3: General public. This is anyone ages 16-59 with no high-risk conditions who were not previously vaccinated.

*Prioritization is subject to change based on data, science, and availability. 

Why is a phased approach needed to distribute the vaccine?
Colorado expects that the initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines will be very limited for several months. This means a vaccine will not be immediately available to everyone who wants one. To be as fair and efficient with distribution as possible, the state has developed a phased approach to vaccine distribution to save lives and end the crisis that has been brought on by the pandemic as quickly as possible. The phased allocation plan will prioritize people at high risk of getting exposed to COVID-19, people who work in essential or critical jobs, and people who are at high risk for getting very sick or dying of COVID-19.
What determines movement from one phase to the next?
In the early stages of vaccine distribution, health care providers will provide information to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on how much vaccine they need and how many people are getting vaccinated. Once the state believes enough vaccine has been distributed to those who want a vaccine in the first phase, we will move to the next phase. The speed at which Colorado is able to move through the phases will largely depend on the supply of vaccine.

Getting a Vaccine

How many doses or shots is the COVID-19 vaccine?

Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two doses. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart, while the Moderna vaccine requires two doses 28 days apart. COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable. The second dose of any COVID-19 vaccine must be completed with the same vaccine product as the first dose. We strongly recommend that you get both doses from the same vaccine provider.

Will I be protected from COVID-19 if I only receive the first dose?
It is very important to get both doses of the vaccine so your body develops enough antibodies to fight the COVID-19 virus if you get infected at a later time.  Getting more than one dose for a vaccine is not unusual. In fact, it’s the norm. Many routine vaccines require more than one dose for maximum protection.
Will the vaccine still be effective if I wait longer than recommended between doses?
It is very important that you receive the second dose of your COVID-19 vaccine on time. The time frame between the vaccine’s first and second dose is determined by the companies producing the vaccine to maximize your body’s ability to create antibodies against the virus. Plan accordingly so you are able to get the second dose of your vaccine at the right time.
What are the side effects of the vaccine?
Most people who received the vaccines in clinical trials experienced mild to moderate side effects that typically went away on their own after a few days. The most commonly reported side effects for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site; pain, tenderness, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the same arm of the injection; fatigue; headache; muscle pain; chills; joint pain; nausea/vomiting; and fever for a few days after receiving the vaccine, with more pronounced discomfort after the second dose. The process of building immunity can cause symptoms. These symptoms are normal and show your body’s immune system is responding to a vaccine. Other routine vaccines, like the flu vaccine, have similar side effects. If you experience discomfort after the first dose of the vaccine, it is very important that you still receive the second dose a few weeks later for full protection.
Are there any serious side effects of the vaccine?
Decades of vaccine research demonstrates that most serious side effects generally occur within six weeks of administering a vaccine. For the COVID-19 vaccines, the FDA has required clinical trials to provide data from eight weeks of safety monitoring following the second dose before considering the authorization of a vaccine for public use. Because this is a new vaccine, researchers will be learning more about rare side effects, if any, over the next year. To identify side effects that happen only very rarely (e.g., once in 50,000 doses), hundreds of thousands of people need to be vaccinated and followed over time. The FDA and CDC will continue to closely monitor vaccine safety as the public begins using a new vaccine. Both agencies have both longstanding and new safety systems in place for heightened monitoring of all COVID-19 vaccines.
Can the vaccine cause an allergic reaction?
Although it is rare, the COVID-19 vaccines may cause mild allergic reactions in some people, like itching or rash. Extremely rarely, some people may have a severe allergic reaction like anaphylaxis. People with a history of severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, to any component of a COVID-19 vaccine should not receive that vaccine. People who have had severe allergic reactions to other vaccines in the past should use caution and talk with their health care provider before deciding whether to get vaccinated. People with a history of severe allergic reactions unrelated to any vaccine may get the COVID-19 vaccine. The health care provider administering your vaccine will monitor you for any allergic reactions you may have after getting vaccinated. They will watch you for at least 15 minutes after the injection (or for 30 minutes if you have a history of anaphylaxis). They will watch you for at least 15 minutes after the injection (or for 30 minutes if you have a history of anaphylaxis). The CDC and FDA are continuously monitoring for allergic reactions in vaccine recipients. They will investigate reports quickly and update recommendations as more information becomes available.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. A COVID-19 vaccine will give you protection against the disease without having to get sick with the actual virus. It is not possible to get COVID-19 from a vaccine, but it is possible to get symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The vaccine candidates use inactivated virus, parts of the virus (e.g., the spike protein), or a gene from the virus. None of these can cause COVID-19. The goal of the vaccine is to provide your body with the tools it needs to fight the COVID-19 virus if you were to get infected.
How much personal information will I have to share to get the vaccine?

Your privacy is a top priority, and your information won’t be used for anything other than vaccine distribution and follow-up information about the vaccine. Like other routine vaccinations, you will need to share some personal information with your vaccine provider when you get a COVID-19 vaccine. This may include your name, date of birth, and contact information. Sharing your identity and some of your medical history ensures the vaccine is administered safely, effectively, and responsibly. Your immunization records are confidential, personal medical information, and public health will never share them publicly.

The state health department maintains the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS), a confidential, population-based, secure computerized system that collects and consolidates individual-level vaccine and exemption data for Coloradans of all ages from a variety of sources. Health care providers have limited access to CIIS based on their need to input and access data for their patients. Under Colorado law, you can choose to remove your immunization information from CIIS at any time. This is called an opt-out.

The state health department will submit daily, anonymous COVID-19 vaccine administration data to the CDC as required. No personally identifiable information will be shared with CDC like your name or full address.

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to get a vaccine?
No. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen, and you will not need to prove lawful presence to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado. Further, public health will never share your information with any immigration or law enforcement agency.
Will I be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
The state is not considering a COVID-19 vaccine mandate at this time.

Vaccine Safety and Development

Who approves vaccines in the U.S.?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licenses and approves the use of all vaccines. Before the FDA approves a vaccine, the manufacturer must do rigorous research and testing to ensure the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. The FDA independently reviews and verifies the information from these tests. It then decides whether the vaccine can be licensed and given to the public. In certain emergency situations, the FDA may issue an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to provide more timely access to critical medical products when there are no other options available.
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

The FDA requires vaccines undergo a rigorous scientific process, including three phases of clinical trials, before they authorize or approve the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines are subject to the same safety standards as other vaccine trials. To date, the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board overseeing Phase 3 trials of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has not identified or reported any serious safety concerns. All Phase 3 studies have Data Safety and Monitoring Boards. The boards are made up of independent scientists hired by the company to look at the safety data and check at regular intervals whether the company should cancel or continue with the study. Additionally, two independent advisory committees will review a vaccine’s safety data before it is made available to the public. These committees are the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), which advises the FDA, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which advises the CDC.

Do any of the vaccines contain harmful ingredients?
Today’s vaccines use only the ingredients they need to be as safe and effective as possible. Each ingredient in a vaccine serves a specific purpose: provide immunity (protection), keep the vaccine safe and long-lasting, and produce the vaccine. All vaccines contain antigens or elements that trigger the production of antigens. Antigens make vaccines work. They prompt the body to create the immune response needed to protect against infection. Antigens come in several forms. The form used in a vaccine is chosen because studies show it is the best way to protect against a particular infection. Other ingredients in vaccines may include preservatives, to keep germs out; adjuvants, to help boost the immune response to the vaccine; and additives, which help the vaccine stay effective while being stored. Each ingredient has a specific function and has been rigorously studied. These ingredients are safe for humans in the amounts used in vaccines.
How are vaccines tested for safety and effectiveness?

Vaccines must go through a detailed scientific evaluation before they can be submitted to the FDA for approval. Each phase of the evaluation includes three different clinical research studies. In the clinical research study or trial, people volunteer to be part of the study. Each clinical trial emphasizes safety of the vaccine on people. As the research moves through to the next phase, the group of volunteers becomes bigger to include more diversity in people and circumstances.

  • Phase 1 involves 20 to 100 healthy volunteers to evaluate safety and common side effects of the vaccine.
  • Phase 2 involves several hundred volunteers to gather information on safety, vaccine dosing, and ability to stimulate an immune response.
  • Phase 3 involves several thousand volunteers and a longer time frame than the earlier studies. Along with safety and side effects, most Phase 3 studies focus on efficacy — how well the vaccine works in clinical trials — and compare people who have received the vaccine to those who receive a placebo (a shot without the real vaccine). During these studies, neither the participants nor the study managers know who received the vaccine and who received the placebo until the end of the study. This phase provides the most firm scientific evidence possible showing the difference between people who have been vaccinated and people who have not been vaccinated for both safety and effectiveness.
How is vaccine safety monitored after it's been approved or authorized?

The FDA and CDC continue to closely monitor vaccine safety after the public begins using the vaccine. Both agencies have both longstanding and new safety systems in place for heightened monitoring of all COVID-19 vaccines. Learn more about the vaccine safety monitoring systems:

  • CDC’s V-SAFE is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine recipients can opt-in to receive text messages and web surveys from CDC on how to report health problems following COVID-19 vaccination. The system will also provide telephone follow-up to anyone who reports medically significant adverse events. The report will be submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) while keeping patient identity confidential.
  • Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is an early-warning system that collects and analyzes reports of any problems that happen after vaccination. Anyone can submit a report, including parents, patients, and health care professionals.
  • Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) is a collaboration between CDC and several health care organizations to monitor vaccine safety. The system analyzes healthcare information for over 24 million people to conduct studies about rare and serious adverse events after immunization.
  • Post-licensure Rapid Immunization Safety Monitoring (PRISM) is the FDA’s immunization safety monitoring program. PRISM actively monitors the safety of medical products using electronic health information from over 190 million people.
  • Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project (CISA) is a collaboration between CDC and seven medical research centers to answer complex safety questions. CISA conducts clinical research studies to further understand vaccine safety and recommend prevention strategies for adverse events following immunization.

COVID-19 Immunity

How soon after getting the vaccine will I be immune?
You will not be immediately protected from COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine. Studies show it takes about one to two weeks after your last dose for your body to be able to protect itself against illness. While no vaccine is 100% effective, Pfizer and Moderna have reported their vaccines are about 95% effective when taken on schedule. Current information suggests it is possible that someone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 may still have a mild or asymptomatic infection or spread the virus to others. So it is important to continue taking precautions. Continue wearing masks and practicing physical distancing until it is clear that it is safe to stop.
Isn't natural immunity better than getting a vaccine?
The protection someone gains from having an infection (called natural immunity) varies depending on the disease, and it varies from person to person. Because this virus is new, we don’t know how long natural immunity might last. Some early evidence — based on a small sample size of people — seems to suggest natural immunity may not last very long. Regarding vaccination, we won’t know how long immunity lasts until we have more data on how well it works over time. Experts are trying to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity of COVID-19.
What is herd immunity? How many people need to get vaccinated to develop herd immunity from COVID-19?
Herd immunity means enough people have developed immunity to a disease (either naturally or through vaccination) that there is no longer a risk of community transmission or outbreaks. Until we better understand COVID-19 immunity, we won’t know the percent of people needed for herd immunity.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Weld County Health Department COVID-19 Hotline: (970) 400-2111

CO HELP Line: (303) 389-1687 or
1 (877) 462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org


Outside links

CDPHE: COVID-19 Vaccine

CDPHE: COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs 

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccine