Centura Health held Colorado Springs’ first mass COVID-19 vaccination event on Feb. 12 and 13 at The Broadmoor World Arena. The event was originally scheduled for Feb. 14 as well, but was canceled due to extreme weather. Local and state leaders like Gov. Jared Polis (pictured) and Mayor John Suthers, attended.

“We have 5,000 Pfizer doses that the state has earmarked for us,” says Dr. Brian Erling, Centura Health CEO. “Once we had that guarantee we were able to come to El Paso County Public Health and work with the Office of Emergency Management and a bunch of other stakeholders — fire, police, Department of Transportation — to arrange the logistics to pull this off. We worked with [nonprofit organizations] RISE, Solid Rock, and they helped us get the word out and get people signed up. There’s a historic distrust of the system, and you couple that with the fact that the outcomes currently are worse in some of our minority populations — we really need to get the vaccine out to the minority groups.”

There was a test run Feb. 12 where 600 doses were administered, primarily to educators. On Feb. 13, more than 2,300 people were vaccinated. Those who were originally scheduled to receive their first dose Feb. 14 will be rescheduled for Feb. 20. 

News Reporter

Heidi Beedle is a former soldier, educator, activist, and animal welfare worker. She received a Bachelor’s in English from UCCS. She has worked as a freelance writer covering LGBTQ issues, nuclear disasters, cattle mutilations, and social movements.