More than half of eligible SLV vaccinated

SAN LUIS VALLEY — As of this past weekend, 60% of eligible San Luis Valley residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 54% of eligible residents are fully immunized. Since the pandemic began, there have been 4,823 known cases in the San Luis Valley, which includes 166 known breakthrough cases among vaccinated people. Vaccinations reduce the likelihood of illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.

There has been some confusion about Pfizer’s vaccine, now also known as Comirnaty. During a pandemic, a new vaccine goes through a specific process. First, the new vaccine is tested for safety and effectiveness on a large pool of volunteers in a clinical trial; then, when enough data has been collected, it is reviewed by the FDA and if it meets standards it can be given an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and be made available to the public. Meanwhile, the clinical trials continue. After more time passes, if the data continues to support it, the company can apply for full FDA approval. FDA approval means the vaccine can be used whether there is a pandemic or not. After FDA approval, the company producing the vaccine can begin to market it and use a brand name for it. Comirnaty is the new name for the Pfizer vaccine. The formulation of the vaccine remains the same.

Youth ages 12 and up may receive Pfizer vaccine with parental consent. Because the earliest clinical trials included only adults, the Pfizer vaccine has full FDA approval for ages 16 and up. Clinical trials for teens began a little later, and Pfizer still has an EUA for ages 12-15. The Moderna and Janssen vaccines have an EUA for ages 18 and up. Moderna has submitted its application for full approval.

There has been a significant increase over the past week in the number of children in our region with COVID-19.

There were 148 known active cases of COVID-19 in the San Luis Valley as of Tuesday. Alamosa County - 31

Conejos County - 13

Costilla County - 15

Mineral County - 5

Rio Grande County - 60

Saguache County - 25

COVID-Check Colorado offers free testing on the Adams State University campus for students, staff and community members Monday through Thursday, 7am-6pm in the lobby of Conour Hall.

Please fill out the registration form ahead of time at https://www.

Free COVID-19 testing is available to the public through mobile clinics on the dates and locations listed below. Register when you arrive, or register online in advance at www.

Tuesdays, 10am-2pm at Rio Grande County Social Services, 1015 6th St in Del Norte

Wednesdays, 3pm-7pm at the Community Center in Saguache Wednesdays, 10:30-1:30 at the Safeway in Monte Vista

Thursdays, 10am-2pm at La Jara Town Hall, 210 Broadway St in La Jara Friday, 9/17/2021, 9am-11am at Antonito Town Hall

To be screened for testing for COVID-19 through local testing providers call:

Rio Grande Hospital 719- 657-4990

SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-3000 ext. 9

To find local vaccine providers, please see www. or call 719-480-8719.

Most local providers offer confidential appointments, and some may accommodate walk-ins. Mobile vaccine clinics coming up: Monte Vista Farmers Market, Friday September 17, 9am-12pm