NEW YORK—Via an executive order by its governor, Colorado is among the now eight states authorizing optometrists to administer COVID-10 vaccinations. Colorado’s Governor issued an executive order that allowed several medical professions, including optometry, to assist with the massive vaccination effort in Colorado. Governor Jared Polis issued a temporary expansion of scope for this to happen for optometry and certain other health care professions in a letter. This was followed up with an emergency rule by the regulatory division of the Colorado Optometric Association. (COA), according to Sheryl Benjamin, COA's executive director.

Benjamin noted, "The Colorado Optometric Association issued a call for interested optometrists in our weekly e-newsletter and 43 optometrists expressed interest in volunteering to help across the state. We have a small steering committee of our 'COA Hot Shots.' We have a call scheduled with a state health department employee next week about registering on a central Colorado Volunteer Mobilizer site which the state, hospitals and local health departments can tap to staff vaccination efforts.

"Several COA member optometrists have been credentialed on this site and will begin to assist in the next week or two. COA will be tracking how many vaccinations our Hot Shots give and how many hours they volunteer." Additional information will be available from the COA soon.

As VMAIL reported last Friday, seven other states are permitting optometrists to administer COVID-19 vaccines. The seven include California, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia. Other states and the American Optometric Association (AOA) are continuing to advocate for optometrists to play a direct role in vaccine administration.