COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Centura Health is helping people who are struggling to find a second dose of their Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
On Thursday, April 29, the drive-through vaccine clinic at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City will be dedicated to administering these so-called “orphan doses” of the Moderna vaccine.
Eligibility is limited to those who received their first Moderna shot before April 2. To register, go to this link, click “Commerce City Drive-Up Event” and then select the option that says “2nd Dose Only.” Centura Health has 2,500 slots available.
“Most vaccine providers do not have the workflow to accommodate orphan second dose vaccinations,” Centura Health said in a press release. “Centura is committed to vaccinating as many people in our communities as quickly and efficiently as we can in order to help bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
About 45% of Colorado’s vaccinated population received the Moderna vaccine. According to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), nearly 1.7 million Coloradans are fully immunized, meaning they have received two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine (or just one of the single-shot Jonson & Johnson vaccine).
Across the country, however, millions of people are skipping their second vaccine dose. The New York Times reported this weekend that 5 million people—or about 8 percent of people who have gotten their first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines—have missed their second appointment.
The reasons for the missed appointment vary. Some people feared side effects, others felt they were safe enough with just one dose. The reporter spoke with a professor in Boulder who said he is forgoing his second shot due to a persistent headache he’s had since his first dose. But the NYT said a problem that is “surprisingly prevalent” is that many vaccine providers have had to cancel second appointments because they ran out of supply or they didn’t have the right vaccine brand in stock.
Jessica Bralish, CDPHE's director of communications, told Rocky Mountain PBS she is "not aware of instances in which providers were unable to provide a second dose of the vaccine because they ran out of a particular vaccine."
Bralish added that CDPHE has encouraged providers to administer second doses even if the patient received their first dose elsewhere.
Ever since Colorado announced people do not need to make an appointment to get vaccinated at three of the state’s mass vaccination sites, there have been thousands of available slots. On Monday, April 26, Colorado Emergency Management confirmed on Twitter that Denver’s Ball Arena has 8,000 available vaccination slots over the next two days.
As The Colorado Sun reports, the number of vaccinations per day has been falling in Colorado since a peak of 79,480 doses in one day on April 9. But CDPHE maintains that enthusiasm around the vaccine remains high, and that Colorado is “not yet seeing the level of hesitancy other states are experiencing.”
The agency said its most recent opinion poll found that 88% of respondents would “possibly be vaccinated,” up from 66% in September of last year.