As efforts across the state to help prevent COVID-19 deaths and illnesses by providing free, safe and effective vaccinations continue, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) has a request as well as a few key reminders for residents interested in receiving the vaccine.
WDH officials are strongly encouraging most people to get their vaccines within their own counties.
“Vaccine is being distributed largely based on population estimates. Going across county lines to receive vaccines can harm the other county’s ability to meet the needs of their own residents,” said Angie Van Houten, Community Health Section chief with WDH. “There are a few situations such as for certain workers employed in a different county than where they live that are understandable, but most people really should look to their own county’s resources.”
“This is already a complicated effort for many reasons such as limited doses, specialized vaccine storage requirements and the need to target priority groups. When people go to other counties to get shots, it makes things tougher for everyone,” Van Houten said.
The currently authorized vaccines require two doses for maximum protection.
Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH, said, “We want you to get both doses and part of our state and local efforts includes planning for two doses,” she said. “People will need to get their second doses in the same location where they get their first, which is another reason to stay closer to home.”
COVID-19 vaccine supplies remain low compared to current demand.
“I continue to be excited about the promise of ending the pandemic these vaccines offer. The overall vaccination effort is a process with many steps and most of us will need to be patient until it’s our turn,” said. “But when it is your turn we absolutely want you to get vaccinated.”
Not every state is approaching their vaccination efforts the same way and there are differences between counties within Wyoming on distribution and progress. “But we are all on the same path toward the same goal,” she said.
Harrist offered additional important reminders for residents.
“We want everyone to know you will not be asked to pay any fees and do not need insurance to get a vaccine,” she said. “You may be asked to bring and show your Medicare or other insurance cards so the medical professionals giving the shots can request reimbursement for doing so but this will not prevent you from receiving the vaccine,” she said.
“If someone promises a vaccine and asks you to pay to receive it, that is likely suspicious activity,” Harrist said.
Harrist said it remains important to continue wearing masks, to keep social distancing and to stay home when ill unless seeking medical help while vaccination efforts continue.
More information about vaccination efforts in Wyoming can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization/wyoming-covid-19-vaccine-information/.
More details about COVID-19 vaccines, including safety information, from the CDC can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html.
More information about COVID-19 in Wyoming can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/.