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Pharmacist Chris Martin with UCHealth holds a vial of COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado Springs. El Paso County vaccination providers are preparing for eligibility to expand on Monday.  The Gazette file.

Seniors in Colorado newly eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination on Monday will likely face a wait before getting a their first shot. 

But some COVID-19 vaccination providers in El Paso County are allowing the 32,000 residents age 65 to 69 to get registered for their vaccinations early. 

As of Tuesday, 2,431 people age 70 and older in El Paso County -- 3.7% of that population -- had received two doses of the vaccine, according to El Paso County Public Health. About 17,860 seniors -- 27% of the group -- have received at least one dose of the vaccine that requires two shots to be effective. The roll out of the vaccinations had been slowed by supply limitations, but state officials have said they expect to have more available in the coming weeks. 

Seniors in the county can register for a vaccination from multiple providers. Here's how to get registered and what to expect from different providers:

Centura Health 

Residents age 65 to 69 can sign up to get vaccinated this week through Penrose-St. Francis Health Services by visiting centura.org/covid-19 or calling 866-414-1562. Centura is providing vaccines on a randomized basis, according to a company statement. 

Optum and Mountain View Medical Group

On Feb. 8 newly eligible seniors can start requesting a vaccine from Optum by sending their first and last name, date of birth, and telephone number to COSvaccine@optum.com. The staff will be contact them over the next few weeks to schedule an appointment. Patients can also call Optum at 719-463-5650. Optum expects to prioritize those 70 and older, and younger patients will be placed on a waiting list below the older group, said Kalen Carter, a spokeswoman with the health care provider. Optum expects it will take several weeks before it starts vaccinating the newly eligible group, she said. 

Matthews-Vu Medical Group

Newly eligible residents can start registering for a vaccination with Matthews-Vu this week by calling 719-474-7380, said Dr. Richard Vu, a co-owner of the practice. However, the medical group expects to continue focusing on the 70 and older age group, he said. The vaccine supply has been getting more predictable and Vu said he expects the practice to start receiving more vaccine from the state in the coming weeks. The practice has plans to provide 2,000 vaccines per week at its Woodmen Road location. Half of those are expected to be second doses, he said. The practice's other locations are expecting to provide 100 doses per week, Vu said.

Peak Vista Community Health Centers

Newly eligible seniors are welcome to join the Peak Vista vaccination waiting list this week by calling 719-344-6500 or filling out this form. Peak Vista expects to start scheduling younger seniors after it vaccinates the 70 and older population, spokeswoman Amy Welsh said. She could not say how long it might take for Peak Vista to finish vaccinating seniors 70 and older. 

King Soopers pharmacies

King Soopers pharmacies have received a limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine in El Paso County. The company did not reply to requests for information about where newly eligible seniors could schedule appointments early. Appointments can be made online at  kingsoopers.com/rx/guest/vaccination-appointments.

Contact the writer at mary.shinn@gazette.com or (719) 429-9264.

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