Dear friends and partners of agriculture,

To the farmers, ranchers and frontline workers in food and agriculture, we are so grateful for you and the work you do every single day. We at the Colorado Department of Agriculture have been receiving many questions regarding COVID-19 vaccines. We are working closely with our state partners to get you as many answers as we are able to at this time.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we are dependent on the federal supply which makes it difficult to plan too far in advance, but Colorado is working diligently and in partnership with providers across the state to get the vaccines into the arms of Coloradans as quickly as possible given our challenges. I want to say thank you in advance for your partnership and patience as we support the state’s vaccine rollout as quickly, efficiently and equitably as possible. 
For the most up-to-date and comprehensive information, visit the Colorado COVID-19 website. Below is a brief summary of what we know today about vaccine roll-out for frontline essential workers in food and agriculture in Colorado. This information is subject to change.

  • The state is reliant on the federal supply of vaccine doses. This means that a vaccine will not be immediately available to everyone who wants one. To be as fair and efficient with distribution as possible, the state has developed a phased approach to vaccine distribution. Learn more about the distribution plan and timeline. 
  • The current focus is on vaccinating Coloradans who are 70 years or older as quickly as possible because they account for 78% of the deaths in our state. The state’s goal is to vaccinate 70% of people age 70 and up by February 28. 
  • Frontline essential workers in food and agriculture are explicitly designated to receive the vaccine in the latter portion of Phase 1b. The state is finishing Phase 1a and moving into the initial groups of Phase 1b (remaining health care workers, first responders and adults age 70 and over). 
  • Colorado expects to receive a sufficient amount of vaccine doses to begin offering vaccinations to frontline essential food and ag workers around March 1, though this is also subject to change. 
  • The vaccine is free. If an individual is asked to provide financial information it is a scam. 
  • Insurance status will not be used to deny or deprioritize any patient from getting the vaccine.
  • Providers may ask, but they cannot require an individual to provide state-issued or other government-issued ID as a condition to receiving the vaccine.
  • The State of Colorado is not currently pursuing any vaccine mandates. Employers may be able to require COVID-19 vaccination for in-person work for their employees, but an employee may be entitled to an exemption through the ADA and Civil Rights Act of 1964. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has more information on their website.

For Employers
Employers are critical to helping us move out of this crisis as quickly as possible. Below are some helpful links:  
  • Again, the state’s COVID-19 website has a great deal of information on locations to receive the vaccine, vaccine safety information, how to connect with a local provider to support vaccine access for your employees, and more. 
  • Reference this Employer Vaccination Toolkit just released by the CDC for communicating with your employees about the vaccine.
  • A large number of vaccine-related FAQs are also answered here.  
If you have any questions specifically related to CDA’s role in COVID-19 response, please contact CDA Deputy Commissioner Steve Silverman or Chief Administrative Officer Jenifer Gurr

Thank you again for all you do to help keep our communities safe and businesses operating. 

With gratitude,
Kate Greenberg
Commissioner of Agriculture