The Colorado State Board of Health met Monday, Aug. 30 to discuss a potential vaccine requirement for hospital and healthcare workers across the state. In a 6-1 vote, the ruling passed to require vaccines for most facilities and the official ruling will be set on October 21, 2021.

The decision to mandate vaccines follows a letter from Governor Jared Polis from mid-August 2021. He encouraged the Board to immediately consider implementing a rule to mandate masks.

The Board of Health sat with members of the public and healthcare personnel for two hours Monday evening to hear as many public concerns and comments as possible. Everyone had the opportunity to submit a written comment or testimony prior to the voting hearing. More opportunities for public comment will be available on the Oct. 21 ruling.

The new requirement will take religious or medical exemptions into consideration. Those exemptions will be defined by individual facilities themselves in regards to their staff.

The new mandate will require anyone under the umbrella of the new requirement to be vaccinated by October 31, 2021.

The healthcare facilities affected by the vaccine mandate will be:

  • Acute Treatment Units
  • Ambulatory Surgical Centers
  • Assisted Living Residences
  • Behavioral Health Entities
  • Birth Centers
  • Community Clinics
  • Community Clinics with Emergency Centers
  • Community Integrated Health Care Services Agencies
  • Community Mental Health Centers
  • Dialysis Treatment Clinics
  • Freestanding Emergency Departments
  • Home Care Agencies
  • Home Care Placement Agencies
  • Hospices
  • Hospitals (General, Rehabilitation, Psychiatric, and Hospital Units)
  • Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Group Homes and Intermediate Care Facilities)
  • Nursing Homes

Independently licensed healthcare practitioners will not be subject to the new mandate. However, the Board is confident that the mandate will have a positive influence and those who aren't mandated will take heed and follow the mandate of major facilities.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.