As vaccine supply to the United States is expected to increase in the coming months, the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccinations is increasing access to vaccines for those eligible.

Retail pharmacies participating in the program will vary by state and territory. In Colorado, participating retail pharmacies include The Kroger Company, which owns City Market, and Walmart Inc, which owns Sam's Club. Eligible individuals interested in getting vaccinated at their local retail pharmacy should contact the pharmacy directly for appointment availability.

“This is an incredible opportunity to increase health equity and access to vaccines throughout the county,” San Miguel County Public Health Director Grace Franklin said in a recent news release. “Additional avenues for vaccine distribution can only help in our efforts to vaccinate our eligible population because supply from the state to our existing distribution centers is limited.”

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has established eligibility for residents qualifying within Phases 1A through 1B.2. This includes frontline health care workers, educators and school staff; and residents 65 years of age and older. Phase 1B.3 is expected to begin in March, according to Governor Jared Polis.

San Miguel County Public Health, Telluride Regional Medical Center and Uncompahgre Medical Center are the vaccine distribution centers within San Miguel County. Based on supply, eligible residents can reach out to their primary care physician, employer or visit the county’s COVID-19 vaccine tab to preregister.

Due to high demand, COVID vaccine scheduling for a variety of retail pharmacies can experience intermittent issues. If that's the case, reach out to the retail pharmacy directly.

To schedule an appointment with an approved City Market retail pharmacy, visit www.citymarket.com/rx/guest/vaccination-appointments. For Walmart and Sam's Club, visit walmart.com/COVIDvaccine and samsclub.com/covid, respectively.

San Miguel County Public Health confirmed and announced Tuesday 15 new positive cases of COVID-19 from test results received Feb. 12-16. Of these cases, 12 are residents. All actively contagious cases are currently in isolation. As of Tuesday, there have been 800 total COVID cases among residents to date, including 22 active cases.

While there has been a recent decline in cases, the next two weeks are critical in whether or not that decline is sustained, as county officials hope to curb the spread from Super Bowl gatherings and the Presidents Day holiday. Maintaining current policy levels will help San Miguel County continue the downward trend and sustainably reopen in the coming weeks, according to the release. To learn more about the county’s current COVID-19 metrics, visit the County COVID-19 dashboard at sanmiguelco.maps.arcgis.com. For vaccine information, visit bit.ly/smcvaccineinfo. For free coronavirus testing opportunities, visit bit.ly/smcphtesting.