Gov. Polis Provides Update on COVID-19 Pandemic, Discusses Importance of Vaccines with Local Doctors

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

DENVER - Governor Polis provided an update on COVID-19 and the importance of vaccines for protecting the whole family. He was joined by Dr. Kyle Leggott, a family medicine doctor from UCHealth, and Dr. Sean O’Leary, Director of the Colorado Pediatric Practice-Based Research Network at Children’s Hospital.

“We get vaccinated to protect ourselves and our loved ones, to end the pandemic, and because of the efforts of healthcare workers who have been going above and beyond. The vast majority of people hospitalized and contracting this deadly virus are unvaccinated,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Please get your vaccine if you have not already. Get the booster when eligible to further protect yourself, your family and the progress we have made together against COVID.”

72% of new COVID cases in Colorado are among unvaccinated individuals and 77% of individuals who are currently hospitalized are unvaccinated. 

Nearly 78% of eligible Coloradans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than 71% are fully vaccinated. As of October 11, 93.5% of residents and 83% of staff in state-managed long-term care facilities are fully vaccinated. 

The data shows clearly that boosters are an important tool for fighting the virus and improving immunity, especially for those who are immunocompromised or are 65 and older. Coloradans interested in receiving a booster, 1st, or 2nd doses, can find a vaccination site at 

Lt. Governor Primavera recently rolled up her sleeve and got the booster dose, because she knew it was the best way to continue safely enjoying the things she loves, like playing with her grandchildren. 

Data also clearly demonstrates the correlation between high vaccination rates and low hospitalization rates. For instance, Eagle, Broomfield and Boulder Counties have the highest vaccination rates and the fewest people hospitalized due to COVID-19. While counties like Pueblo, Weld and Mesa have fewer Coloradans vaccinated and more COVID-19 patients experiencing severe symptoms and ending up in the hospital. 

Colorado is proud to have more than 1600 vaccine providers across the state, making getting protected from the virus easy, convenient, and free. If eligible, Coloradans are urged to go get their booster shot now. Ensuring that the state’s vaccinated population’s immunity remains strong against this virus is an essential part of helping Colorado move forward and limiting disease spread. 

Frontline healthcare workers can attest to the importance of vaccinations for both the patient and their families.

“It’s okay to be uncertain and have questions about the vaccines, and even be a little scared, but that’s what doctors are here for. We’re here to make sure patients have the best available information and to answer questions, so that patients can make the best decisions for their health and the health of those around them,” said Dr. Kyle Leggott, a family medicine doctor from UCHealth. 

“What I’ve observed in the last 18 months with the development, approval, and distribution of these amazing, safe, effective vaccines is nothing short of miraculous. We were hoping for vaccines that were 50% effective, and we got vaccines that were more than 90% effective at preventing infection, and even better at preventing hospitalization and death. In a short period of time, communities have come together to somehow get vaccines into the arms of over 77% of eligible Coloradans, saving thousands of lives. This is remarkable, but we’re not done yet – we need to finish that last mile to protect ourselves, our communities, and our children,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, Director of the Colorado Pediatric Practice-Based Research Network at Children’s Hospital.

View today’s press conference.