Green River Star -

More added to vaccine group

 

February 3, 2021



People aged 65 and older with certain high-risk medical conditions can now receive the COVID-19 vaccines according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

A new 1C group has also been added to the priority vaccination list based on a list of critical infrastructure employees created by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency through the Department of Homeland Security.

While more people are included in receiving vaccines, the supply of vaccines throughout Wyoming remains limited and people in the new 1C list may be waiting until later in the year to receive a vaccination.

“Counties are vaccinating people in both Phase 1A and some Phase 1B groups right now, and working through the priority groups based on what is most appropriate for their counties,” Stephanie Pyle, Public Health Division senior administrator with WDH. “We are working with counties to help ensure vaccine is administered as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The larger vaccine group was originally announced during a COVID-19 update for the county’s community leaders last week.

At the time, no one knew what the 1C group would consist of, but local health workers anticipated the age cap would drop from 70 to 65.

According to the WDH, the 1C category includes homeless people and those living in congregate settings.

Critical infrastructure employees in 1C consists of those working in energy industries, transportation, information technology, critical manufacturing, communications, food and agriculture, financial industries, those working with nuclear reactors, materials and waste, water, commercial facilities and defense industrial base.

Because of low vaccine amounts the WDH asks residents to receive it in 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,” Angie Van Houten, Community Health Section chief with WDH, said. “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.”

The vaccines available require two different shots to activate.

Because of that, the WDH is requiring people to get the second booster from the same location they received the first.

“We want you to get both doses and part of our state and local efforts includes planning for two doses,” Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH 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.”

“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,” Harrist 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.

 

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