First vaccines in Yuma were given Christmas Eve

The first COVID-19 vaccine shots were given Christmas Eve afternoon at Yuma District Hospital & Clinics.
The hospital had received 100 of the Moderna vaccine as of Monday of this week. The first shipment showed up last week, with the first shots going to highest-risk health care workers and individuals.
Heath Horton, FNP, is in charge of COVID-19 responses for YDH & C, said the state dispenses shipments each week.
“We just have to wait and find out if we are going to be given any the following week,” he told the Pioneer in an email interview.
The Moderna vaccine is required to be frozen, Horton explained, but does not require the ultra-cold storage the Pfizer vaccine requires. The Moderna vaccine requires a second shot 28 days after the first one.
The Yuma hospital is following the State of Colorado’s protocols for who gets the vaccine. Currently it is Phase 1A and Phase 1B. That includes people who have direct contact with COVID-19 patients for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period; long-term care facility staff and residents. Phase 1B is for moderate-risk health care workers and responders. That includes health care workers with less direct contact with COVID-19 patients, workers at home health/hospice and dental settings, and EMA, firefighters, police, correctional workers, dispatchers, funeral services, other first responders and COVID-19 response personnel.
Horton said the hospital district currently is working with Yuma EMS, Yuma Police Department, Yuma Life Care Center and Harmony Home to immunize employees, Yuma Vision Source, and the two chiropractor clinics in Yuma.
“We have two more clinics set up for this week and hoping to get most of people in the 1A/1B group done at that time,” Horton said. “Some of this will depend on if we get further allocations of vaccine from the state this week.”
The State of Colorado has released a timeline showing Phase 2 in the spring, which will be for high-risk individuals, which includes people age 65 and older, essential workers and people living in high-density settings. Phase 3 is set for the summer, and that is for anyone ages 18-64 without high-risk conditions.
The timeline is subject to change based on the supply chain.
Horton said the Yuma hospital is taking names of people that would like to be vaccinated when it opens up to the other populations. Anyone who would like to get the vaccine can call the YHD & C’s COVID line at 848-4712 to be put on a waiting list.

Physical Therapist Bobbi Strand gets the COVID-19 vaccine shot on Christmas Eve. (Pioneer Photo)
Currently all vaccinations are entered into the state’s central vaccine register. The state stores the patient’s names and date of birth along with vaccine information. The state only reports the number of vaccines given to the federal government, Horton said.
Horton received the vaccine himself. He said he only experienced mild symptoms of a sore throat and a sore arm. He said he took over-the-counter Tylenol and the symptoms resolved by the next morning.
“I would (encourage) anyone to get the immunization,” Horton said. “As of (Monday) over 65,000 people in Colorado have been given the vaccine.”
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