Almost 86,700 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Mesa County, the majority of which were given at the Community Vaccination Site (CVS). The site, which has been operating for more than three months, can administer up to 1,500 doses per day. During the busiest day so far, nearly 2,000 doses were administered. That’s approximately 333 vaccines an hour, or five every minute. The complex operation is able to run so efficiently and safely because of a well-organized daily plan.

The operation’s success starts with the staffing. In addition to Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) staff, the site is operated by hundreds of medical and non-medical volunteers.

The non-medical volunteers help with tasks like check in, patient navigation and data entry.  Medical volunteers and MCPH staff members carry out the daily tasks needed to properly store and administer vaccine with minimal waste. 

Community vaccination is not new territory to public health professionals. “Vaccine safety is a requirement for public health organizations. Our staff must go through annual training and evaluations in order to safely administer vaccinations. Mesa County Public Health employs vaccine experts to ensure patient safety,” said Allison Sanchez, Clinic Manager for MCPH. “This is our area of expertise and we pride ourselves on our practices.”

Medical personnel follow strict protocols outlined by the vaccine manufacturers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to make sure vaccination is safe and efficient. Protocols include vaccine temperature monitoring, keeping written records of expiration dates/times, and double checking drawn doses prior to administering. To reduce waste, the needed doses for the day are calculated based on appointments. After vaccination, patients wait 15 minutes in a room staffed by EMTs to monitor for adverse reactions. To date, no adverse reactions have occurred. 

With experienced medical personnel carefully analyzing every step of the process, it’s no surprise those who have made the choice to get their COVID-19 vaccination at the Mesa County Community Vaccination site describe it as quick and easy. 

If you are interested in getting vaccinated, please visit the Mesa County Public Health website to make an appointment.