Public Health Update for December 21, 2020

SAN LUIS VALLEY - Initial shipments of Moderna vaccine will begin to arrive in the San Luis Valley this week as we prepare to offer vaccination to front line personnel. 


The vaccines that have received federal approval so far (made by Pfizer and Moderna) have been shown to be extremely effective at preventing COVID-19 illness, especially severe COVID-19 illness. How long this protection lasts is something that we will continue to learn more about over time. As people decide whether to be vaccinated they will need to weigh the risks and benefits based on the best information possible. The best case scenario will be that in the next 6 months or so, enough people receive the vaccine to significantly reduce community-level threats and damaging effects on our communities.


We have heard some concerns about side effects. Some people may experience symptoms such as pain and redness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, or fever for 1-2 days after receiving the vaccine. A misconception is that the shot gives you a mild case of the actual illness you are being vaccinated against. This is not true. The symptoms are a normal result of your body’s immune system responding and building up defenses needed to fight the virus in the future. It is important that you also receive the second dose of the vaccine as scheduled for full protection. 


Vaccine providers will screen for potential allergies. They will also monitor recipients for 15-30 minutes after vaccination as a precaution. Because this is a new vaccine, researchers will be learning more about rare side effects, if any, over the next year. To identify side effects that happen only very rarely (e.g., once in 50,000 doses), hundreds of thousands of people need to be vaccinated and followed over time.

The FDA and CDC will continue to closely monitor vaccine safety as the public begins using a new vaccine. Both agencies have both longstanding and new safety systems in place for heightened monitoring of all COVID-19 vaccines. Learn more about the vaccine safety monitoring systems.


You can find answers to most vaccine questions at You may also call 719-480-8719 with questions. 


There are currently 277 known active cases of COVID-19 in the San Luis Valley. 

Alamosa County - 157

Conejos County - 19

Costilla County - 25

Mineral County - 1

Rio Grande County - 67

Saguache County - 6


More information about local data, dial status, capacity restrictions at each level, as well as other San Luis Valley COVID information, can be found at website link



Support local businesses. Get more information at 


To pursue testing for COVID-19 through our regular testing providers, or for medical questions, call;

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990

  • SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-3000 ext. 9 

  • Valley-Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 4 (M-F), 719-589-2562 (Sa/Su)


The Colorado Spirit Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) offers community-based crisis counseling, help with disaster coping strategies, education, and more. Get information at or call 719-587-5673. 


For general (non-medical) SLV COVID-19 related questions:, 719-480-8719