Candelas resident Alisa Bruno just wanted to get her mother a COVID-19 vaccine. Bruno, a mother of three with a master's degree in public health from Oregon Health and Science University, lives in a …
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Candelas resident Alisa Bruno just wanted to get her mother a COVID-19 vaccine. Bruno, a mother of three with a master's degree in public health from Oregon Health and Science University, lives in a multi-generational household that's had to carefully plan their life outside of the home throughout the pandemic.
When Bruno's mother became eligible for the vaccine, she expected to be able to get an appointment immediately, but quickly became frustrated by the same problems plaguing many Coloradans — limited appointment times, difficult-to-navigate websites, and slews of waitlists.
Bruno got her vaccine when a friend who was volunteering at a church-run clinic called to let her know that there were extra doses available due to no-shows. As she got her first shot, Bruno had an idea.
“After I got my vaccine,” said Bruno. “I started to ask questions about how the organizers did that vaccination event. I found an application on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's website, filled it out and heard back from them within a few weeks.”
While coordinating with CDPHE, Bruno contacted her neighbor Amanda Rieter, treasurer of the Vauxmont Metropolitan District that serves the Candelas development. Rieter brought the idea to the attention of the board of directors, all of which supported the clinic.
ParkView Rec Center, 19865 West 94th Avenue, was chosen as the site of the vaccination clinic, which will be staffed by nurses and medical professionals provided by CDPHE as well as community volunteers supplying snacks and drinks.
The clinic will be open on May 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Signups can be made online at www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c45adaf29abfbc07-candelas1. The clinic will provide the first of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with the second dose set to be administered on May 30, also at ParkView Rec Center.
Rieter said that she was appreciative that the State of Colorado is affording community members like Bruno and herself the opportunity to organize vaccination clinics.
“It's cool that Colorado is doing this,” said Rieter. “Not a lot of states are providing opportunities like this where communities can make a difference. It means everything to give everyone the chance to be vaccinated, to protect neighbors, families, friends. We all really want to get back to the community we used to know.”
Bruno echoed Rieter's sentiments and added that she is appreciative of the community in Candelas and Arvada as a whole.
“It was awesome working with CDPHE to organize this,” said Bruno. “I hope it takes some of the pressure off of people. I'm really proud of Colorado for making vaccine appointments available to everyone, and I just really appreciate our community here in Arvada and in Candelas and we've just got to keep taking care of each other.”
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