Lindsey Mills, San Miguel County public information consultant, told The Norwood Post there will be a vaccine panel discussion in Norwood Monday at 6:15 p.m. at the San Miguel County Fairgrounds in Pig Palace.

Various community leaders and officials will lead an open, in-person discussion “to chat through the COVID-19 vaccines, the options in the county, the safety and efficacy of all three vaccines, and to answer any questions that folks may have,” Mills said.

Panelists include county public health director Grace Franklin, commissioner Kris Holstrom, Robin Richards of Uncompahgre Medical Center, town trustee Jamie Schultz, as well as citizens Mark Vandenburg, Ted Mueller and Charlie Bausch.

Currently, the vaccines available in the U.S. are Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, but San Miguel County does not have access to the latter at this point.

Mills said the Pfizer vaccine is also the only one available to 16-and-17-year-olds, and it will be first to target the 12-to-15 age group. She said Pfizer just completed a study on the vaccine for that age group, and its effectiveness has been proven.

According to Mills, the trial showed “a lot of success” with 100 percent effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 in the kids who participated. She said Pfizer is currently in the process of submitting data to the FDA as soon as possible in order to file an amendment to the vaccine’s authorization.

“The presumption is that kids will be eligible way in advance of the next school year,” Mills said.

The data she shared with The Norwood Post reported that 2,260 kids were tested. She added that none who were vaccinated contracted COVID-19. She said 18 different kids in a placebo group did, however.

The vaccine panel will address public questions. It is free for all attendants. As of press time Tuesday, Mills was not sure if it would be recorded.

She explained the county has plenty of vaccines to go around.

“We are no longer in short supply by any means,” she said. “There are appointments in our clinics now to April 24. We are encouraging all folks interested to pre-register with public health.”

The online link for registration is bit.ly/smcvaccine

Anyone who cannot attend the vaccine forum Monday is welcome to jump on a monthly COVID-19 Zoom meeting with the county the following day.

Additionally, Uncompahgre Medical Center in Norwood is also announcing two vaccine clinics.

Sarah Franklin, the clinic’s chief administrative officer, said UMC has had trouble keeping up with vaccine clinics because they were happening so fast. Now that things are slowing down, she said UMC is happy to get the word out for an April 22 clinic. That day, a Thursday, the public can come from 12:30-7 p.m. by appointment to receive the first of a Moderna vaccine.

She said a follow-up for the second dose will be held May 20.

Next, a second clinic will happen on May 13 for first doses; the follow up for that clinic is June 10.

Franklin said the clinics are open to all adults ages 18 and older. UMC has a registration form on its website for the public’s use, and people may choose time slots for their shots.

At this time, Moderna is the only vaccine that UMC has on hand. Anyone with questions may call the clinic at 970-327-4233.