COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — In an effort to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all Coloradans, the state health department is urging local vaccine providers not to ask for valid identification in order to be immunized.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is telling providers to merely ask for a patient’s name, date of birth, and address instead.
“It is absolutely critical that there are no barriers to people getting this vaccine,” said Scott Bookman, CDPHE’s COVID-19 incident commander. “We know that for some people, being asked for government ID can be a deterrent from them accessing the vaccine and that does not get us to our goal of saving lives and ending this pandemic.”
In a press release, the state said it “expects providers to eliminate requirements for official identification, and warns that requiring identification can result in loss of access to vaccines.”
However, asking Coloradans to get vaccinated on the honor system alone could be problematic. KRDO asked Bookman if CDPHE is worried that some people will try to cut in line.
“We’re really in a wonderful position that Coloradans want this,” Bookman said. “Simultaneously we do need people to really be on this honor system and we need to be able to trust people that they’re not going to jump in line because we’re not requiring an ID for every vaccination.”
KRDO reached out to several of the COVID-19 vaccine providers in El Paso County to ask if they currently require a valid ID for immunization. Most of the providers did not respond. However, many offices were closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the time of the request.
UCHealth said it has not been requiring ID’s for vaccines.
“We have not been asking for identification for vaccinations, and we agree that the vaccines should be offered as broadly and as fairly as possible,” said Cary Vogrin, spokesperson for UCHealth.
Optum also does not appear to require identification for vaccination. Its website reads:
“Patients who are 70 and older, please contact us by email to be placed on the COVID-19 vaccine waiting list. Please send your first and last name, date of birth, and telephone number to COSvaccine@optum.com. Our Team will be contacting you over the next few weeks to schedule your COVID vaccine.”
Kaiser Permanente said it has not been requiring formal IDs for COVID-19 vaccination.
A media spokesperson for Peak Vista answered the phone Monday. Currently, Peak Vista’s website requires that new patients signing up for a COVID-19 vaccine have to have a valid ID. However, the spokesperson said Peak Vista will be discussing the state’s announcement Tuesday and plans to follow state and local guidelines accordingly.