Informed Choices - When We Don't Have All the Answers Yet

We all want this pandemic to be over, and for life to get easier.

We're tired, and we want easy answers.

The reality is, it's complicated.

We're learning as fast as we can, and there's still a lot we don't know.

 

 Get up-to-date information to make your best decisions.

 

Click on the Highlighted Text in these sections for links to more info or resources.

(This page is updated frequently: current as of 18 January 2020) 

We are in the beginning stages of COVID-19 vaccines becoming available in the US.

Initial doses have arrived at hospitals, nursing home, health departments.

Retail pharmacies may soon be able to vaccinate Coloradans age 70 and above,

but that hasn't started yet.

Getting vaccinated - when a vaccine is SAFE and AVAILABLE for you -

will DECREASE your RISK of getting COVID-19.

Even after you’ve been vaccinated, you are still at some risk.

It is still important to WEAR A MASK, WASH YOUR HANDS, and LIMIT EXPOSURE.

Click here for the most current list of where to get vaccinated in Colorado,

or call the Colorado COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 303-389-1687.

It is still not known how long the vaccine will last, or how often it may need to be repeated.

It is still not known whether a vaccinated person can carry and transmit the virus without being sick.

The vaccines currently available are each a 2-dose series (Pfizer 3 weeks apart, or Moderna 4 weeks apart).

You should get the SAME version (Pfizer or Moderna) for BOTH your first and second shot.

If you do not get the vaccine when it is first available to you, it will remain an option as time goes on and we continue to learn more.

Rare but life-threatening allergic reactions have happened with the COVID-19 vaccines (especially the one made by Pfizer) - if you have a history of previous severe allergic reaction, and choose to get vaccinated, you should receive your vaccine in a hospital or facility with full “crash cart” emergency services, and should remain waiting there for at least 30 minutes after the shot.

It is not yet known how these vaccines affect people with major diseases of the immune system, including autoimmune diseases.

If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19 (whether you got sick or not), you should wait at least 90 days from when you first tested positive, and then can get vaccinated.

The vaccines currently available in the US are being distributed under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). This is a fast-track process in response to a major public health crisis. There has not yet been enough time, information, or experience for these vaccines to receive full standard FDA approval. Expect information and recommendations to continue to evolve as we all learn more in the coming months and years.

Click Here to see what PHASE (Priority Category) you are in, according to Colorado public health officials:

  • PHASE 1A (highest risk Health Care Workers): currently being vaccinated since December 2020

  • PHASE 1B (First Responders & Age 70+): authorized on 5 January 2021, implementation starting

  • PHASE 1B, Part Two (Frontline Workers): next in line - aiming for February 2021

  • PHASE 2 (Age 60+ & All Ages with High-Risk Medical Conditions): aiming for Spring 2021

  • PHASE 3 (General Public): aiming for Summer 2021

Public Health risk categories take into account several considerations:

  • How likely a person is to become severely ill or die if infected

  • How likely a person is to expose many others who may become severely ill or die

  • If this person becomes ill, how much will it disrupt emergency health services and crucial functioning of society

Click Here to sign up for Boulder County Health Department notifications when your Phase can be vaccinated

There is currently LIMITED AVAILABILITY of COVID-19 Vaccine for people in PHASE 1A & 1B

If it’s your turn (Health Care Workers, First Responders & Persons Age 70+), and want to be vaccinated now:

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT if you’re undecided about getting vaccinated:

How high is your risk for being EXPOSED to the virus? Consider:

  • Do you routinely have close contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19?

  • How many people do you come into direct contact with each day?

  • How big is your “bubble” - including who members of your household are exposed to?

  • How often do you go out in public, especially indoor spaces with other people around?

  • Do you wear a mask whenever you’re out among others? Does everyone in your bubble?

How high is your personal risk for getting severely ill if you get exposed? Consider:

  • Are you age 60 or above? 70 or above?

  • Are you overweight?

  • Do you have diabetes?

  • Do you have a chronic lung disease?

  • Do you have high blood pressure (even if controlled on medication) or other heart disease?

  • Do you have chronic kidney disease?

  • Do you have an active cancer?

  • Do you have an autoimmune disease?

  • Are you immunocompromised?

  • Are you so stressed, overworked, or affected by unhealthy or abusive relationships that your health and resilience are affected?

Are you at higher risk for adverse effects or complications of a vaccine?

  • Do you have a health condition that affects your immune system, including:

    • autoimmune disease, or

    • currently receiving cancer treatment, or

    • currently receiving other immunosuppressive treatments, or

    • currently ill with a high fever or severe symptoms?

  • Persons known to be allergic to Polyethylene Glycol or Polysorbate should NOT be vaccinated at this time

  • Have you had previous severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis?

  • Have you had previous severe side effects or complications with other vaccines?

Learn more about each of the different COVID-19 Vaccines (from the CDC)

 
  • Where can I get a COVID-19 test near me?

  • ​How much COVID-19 are we currently seeing in different parts of Colorado?

 
 
 

Questions & Answers with the Plague Doctor

The Plague Doctor has traveled far across the realms and the ages to visit and answer your questions.

 

Click on each box below for a conversation.

 

Scroll farther down for more local resources, information and helpful links. 

Do YOU have a question for the Plague Doctor? Let us know! 

LOCAL LINKS - click on the highlighted text to visit the link:

Address

2503 Walnut St #200
Boulder CO 80302
USA

Contact

CALL 303-557-2250

FAX 303-325-7688

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