Comment of the Day

Reader: New Vaccine Priorities Good for Some, Bad for Restaurant Workers

Governor Jared Polis is looking ahead.
Governor Jared Polis is looking ahead. colorado.gov
Governor Jared Polis had good news for many Coloradans at his press conference on February 26: The general public will have access to vaccines much sooner than initially predicted, perhaps by the end of April.

But more than one group was concerned that the most recent priority list pushes some people back on the COVID-19 vaccine schedule: While grocery workers remain in phase 1B.3 (eligible starting March 5) restaurant workers were moved to phase 1B.4 (eligible starting March 21).

“We have worked diligently to establish a positive working relationship with the Governor and his staff. We are shocked by this change. Just hours before the Governor’s press conference, we were assured multiple times from multiple people from the Governor’s office, including the Governor, that we would be in same phase as grocery workers, said Sonia Riggs, president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association, in a statement released late on February 26. “We obviously are disappointed in any further delays. Our primary concern is the health and safety of our workers, who provide essential meals for Coloradans, just as grocery workers do. Splitting grocery workers and restaurant workers into two phases makes zero sense.

“It’s helpful that we now have a target date of approximately March 21, which will help deliver much-needed certainty to the restaurant industry," Riggs continues. "Unfortunately, this is another example of the goal posts being moved for the restaurant industry. About half of restaurants say they will close in the next six months if they are not allowed to more fully open. We are looking to the Governor and his administration to offer certainty.”


Certainty has been hard to come from during the past year, as the coronavirus pandemic has swept the globe. But now Colorado's rules for 1B.3 seem firm: On March 5, people sixty and up can begin scheduling appointments (that's earlier than originally predicted); so can Coloradan between ages sixteen and 59 with two or more co-morbidities that increase the danger of serious consequences from COVID-19. (By the way, along with restaurant workers, front-line journalists were also moved back to 1B.4.)

Readers have plenty to say about Polis's new priority list, and vaccinations in general, on the Westword Facebook post of our story of Governor Polis's February 26 press conference. Says Richard:
That's great. Been waiting for an update to the state schedule based on the increased supply.
Notes Vanessa:
Nice. April sounds awesome! Can't wait to get my life back!
Wonders Jayne:
Good news for some (my parents), but bad for others. What happened to restaurant workers? We can have more people in our dining rooms, but we're moved back as a priority?
Notes Melissa: 
I choose not to be a guinea pig for a vaccination that was created in three to four short months.
Adds Laurie:
Nope! I'd rather get COVID.
Responds Patty:
I can tell you COVID is not fun, even for what they consider a mild case. I'd take one day of immune response any day over getting COVID again, and I will get my vaccine as soon as I'm able to!
Comments Alan:
This is all very strange to read. I live in England and 95 percent of the vaccines offered have been taken without any debate. Everybody who is still waiting for the next age group to vaccinated are so excited to have it done.
Responds Andy:
Welcome to America. The most propagandized and willfully misinformed country in the world.
Want to become informed? The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a wealth of information, including the state's latest prioritization list for vaccination.

What do you think of Colorado's priority list? Have you been vaccinated? Will you get vaccinated? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.
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