COVID-19: CVMA classifies veterinarians in second half of Phase 1B vaccine prioritization plan

COVID-19: CVMA classifies veterinarians in second half of Phase 1B vaccine prioritization plan

NOTE: CVMA has been tracking information about the state’s vaccine prioritization plan since November 2020 and sharing updates on the CVMA website throughout that time. CVMA will update this article as needed if more information becomes available. Last updated: January 13, 2021

As COVID-19 vaccines start making their way to Colorado, many veterinarians and veterinary health care workers may be wondering when they may be eligible to receive the vaccine.

How is Colorado moving forward with COVID-19 vaccinations?

On December 9, 2020, the state released an initial vaccine prioritization plan. On December 30, 2020, the state released an updated vaccine prioritization plan that outlines the timing of vaccine distribution to various groups throughout Colorado. The second set of changes came after a federal committee issued new guidance on prioritization in mid-December — these recommendations came after states had already assembled their own plans.

The prioritization document is subject to change quickly – click here to view the document and see the current status. State officials are expecting a very limited initial supply of vaccines for the first several months. There are multiple vaccine working groups and task forces working on the vaccine prioritization timelines at the state level.

Where do veterinarians and veterinary professionals fall in the Colorado vaccine prioritization plan?

CVMA has been following the vaccine prioritization conversations since November 2020, and has been updating this website with information for veterinarians since that time. Based on available information from state and county officials, CVMA has identified that Colorado veterinary professionals fall into the second half of Phase 1B. This may vary county to county; local public health officials determine final eligibility for vaccines based on vaccine availability and county demographics. When seeking vaccination, CVMA recommends consulting with your health care provider and your local county public health officials, as vaccine availability will vary county to county throughout the state.

CVMA expects most veterinarians to gain vaccine access in the spring, but is aware that some counties may be prepared to begin vaccinations of veterinary professionals and other Phase 1B individuals sooner.

This may be subject to change; the state of Colorado has not published guidance as to which specific phase veterinary professionals belong to. CVMA will update this information if such guidance is published.

CVMA is continuing to monitor the state’s vaccine distribution planning process and will continue working to advocate for early vaccine access for veterinary health care workers as greater numbers of doses become available.

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What is the process for a veterinarian and their staff to receive a vaccine?

Click here to view information on the state’s website about how to contact vaccine providers. CVMA recommends that veterinarians consult with their health care provider and their local county public health officials; vaccine availability varies county to county throughout the state.

What documentation will need to be produced to verify an individual’s priority group?

This will vary county to county. CVMA has developed a letter that CVMA members can use if documentation of Phase 1B status is needed. This letter was emailed to CVMA members in January 2021. Please contact CVMA at if you are a current CVMA member and need a copy of the verification letter.

How was the state’s vaccination prioritization plan developed?

In September, the CDC issued a Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations that served as an interim guide for state and local public health programs for planning and operationalizing vaccination responses on the local level. On the national level, AVMA has also advocated for early vaccine access for veterinary team members.

How does Colorado’s plan compare to other states?

Each state has developed its own vaccine prioritization plan, and veterinary professionals may be classified in different phases or stages of access in other states.

Where is there more information available?

Click here to visit the state’s website for more information on COVID-19 vaccine, including informational FAQs, details on the vaccine allocation plan, information about vaccine providers, and additional background on vaccine safety and development.