CU Boulder, state host mobile vaccine clinic

Almost 100 people received coronavirus vaccines at a mobile clinic on campus Tuesday hosted by the University of Colorado Boulder and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The CU Boulder clinic was the first of several mobile clinics on college campuses, said Gov. Jared Polis, and is part of a statewide effort to increase coronavirus vaccination rates.

A sign sits in front of a bus being used to administer COVID-19 vaccinations at Williams Village Campus on Tuesday in Boulder. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

“What people want these days, especially busy college students, is convenience. That’s really what we try to provide,” Polis said.

The state’s mobile clinics have been to rural communities and urban areas alike. The state estimates that more adults aren’t getting the vaccine because it’s not convenient or there are barriers, Polis said, rather than people being truly hesitant.

College students might not have a car, gas money, a local health care provider or the time to find an appointment, Polis said, which could all be barriers to getting a vaccine.

“We want to make it convenient, on sight, in a place they know. Word spreads quickly and this provides an easy way for students to get protected,” Polis said.

Vaccination rates among 18- to 22-year-olds are lower than the state’s overall vaccination rate, according to data provided by Polis’ office. While about a third of Colorado residents are now fully vaccinated, only 17% of college-age residents are fully vaccinated — though that could be a timing lag, as 33% of 18- to 22-year-olds have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Coronavirus vaccines are currently available to all Coloradans 16 years of age and older.

Ninety-nine of the estimated 240 doses of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine available at the CU Boulder clinic were distributed, according to the campus.

Sophomore Kyla Christopher-Moody came to the clinic to get the second dose of a two-dose vaccine.

“I’m pretty relieved,” Christopher-Moody said. “It’s maybe a sign of things going back to somewhat normal, whatever that is.”

The past year has felt monotonous, she said, with each day feeling exactly the same as the last. She hopes things are more normal next year.

Graduate student Alex Meyer said he attended the clinic because of the convenience. He also came to get a second shot of a two-dose series.

“I’m happy to be vaccinated in time for summer and to be able to see my family,” he said. “I’m just excited to get it.”

CU Boulder is requiring vaccines for all students, faculty and staff by the time the fall semester begins. The campus is still setting up a system to verify whether people have been vaccinated or have submitted exemptions, said spokesperson Melanie Marquez Parra.

Of the 22,000 people who signed up to be notified about campus vaccine availability, all have been offered the chance to get vaccinated, Parra said.

CU Boulder has fully vaccinated 3,625 people so far, according to the campus coronavirus dashboard.

Updated: May 5, 2021 — 9:46 am