Denver focuses on health equity
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced an additional half-million dollars in COVID funding to increase vaccinations in communities where rates remain low as concerns mount over the highly contagious Delta variant.
While approximately 70 percent of eligible Denverites are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, vaccine disparities still exist within the community. Thousands of Denverites remain unvaccinated and vulnerable to severe illness and death from COVID-19. The additional funding will help close this gap and accelerate vaccination efforts in communities where rates remain low – a critical step to stopping the spread of the virus and fueling the city’s economic recovery.
A portion of the funding will go toward providing free COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible students and their families in Denver Public Schools through the city-sponsored in-school immunization program. For the past 10 years, the City and County of Denver has worked with Denver Public Health and Denver Public Schools to successfully provide vaccines free-of-charge to students. In addition to providing other vaccinations for diseases such as measles, pertussis and influenza, mobile outreach teams will now also be visiting schools across the district to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to all eligible children and their families.
“The best protection against COVID and the Delta variant is vaccination. While I’m proud of our vaccination efforts, we still have work to do,” said Mayor Hancock. “This additional funding reflects the city’s commitment to providing easy access to the vaccine for anyone and everyone who wants to have it.”
To date, the city has sponsored dozens of mobile vaccine events across Denver. These events have played an important role in helping Denver reach the 70 percent milestone set by President Biden and has allowed Denverites to return to the things they love more quickly.
“Denver’s overall COVID-19 case rates remain low, but we are seeing an uptick in cases including the Delta variant. While Denver has just 53 confirmed cases of this variant, the fact that the Delta variant makes up 90 percent of new cases statewide is concerning,” said Bob McDonald, Executive Director of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment. “With 96 percent of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Colorado not fully vaccinated, we are facing a pandemic of the unvaccinated. It is time for more aggressive outreach efforts to ensure families across the city who have been hesitant to receive the vaccine have the information and access they need to get vaccinated.”
People who are fully vaccinated are highly protected against COVID-19 including the variants. Vaccinations are free and readily available to anyone, with or without insurance. The City and County of Denver maintain a list of current and scheduled vaccine locations for all eligible residents, which can also be accessed via this QR code:
A Proclamation on Made In America Week, 2021: Made in America Week recognizes a basic idea: when we spend taxpayer dollars, we should buy American products and support American jobs. The Congress passed the Buy American Act almost 90 years ago, but we have never fully lived up to this principle.
Governor Jared Polis provided an update on the COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s efforts to get more Coloradans vaccinated. Governor Polis was joined by Joe Garcia, Chancellor, Colorado Community College System; Tara Trujillo, COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign Manager; and Brittany Morris Saunders, Amazon.
“The vast majority of Coloradans are doing their part by getting vaccinated and we’re bringing vaccines to communities, workplaces and truly meeting Coloradans where they are at,” said Governor Polis.
Mayor Michael B. Hancock delivered his 2021 State of the City Address, encouraging residents after a year and a half of challenges to lift their heads and drive towards a sustainable and equitable recovery. While the impacts of the pandemic persist, Mayor Hancock issued a clarion call to invest now to create opportunities for tomorrow.
“The state of our city is resilient,” Mayor Hancock said. “We’re turning the challenges of the past year – and there were many – into opportunities. Opportunities to transform our city into a model of equity and inclusion that is sustainable for years and even decades to come.”