By David Martin

Vaccines open to new group


Sweetwater County residents in the 1C priority group are eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine according to an announcement from the Sweetwater County District Board of Health.

The 1C group involves a lengthy list of people how work in what are designated as essential critical infrastructure workers. This list includes those working in the energy, communications, water and information technology industries, as well as government employees. Outside of this group, homeless people and others with an increased risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. This comes weeks after the 1B priority group was expanded to include residents aged 65 and older and people 18 and older who have health conditions that put them at a higher risk of developing serious symptoms from the disease.

The 1C group was announced by the Wyoming Department of Health Feb. 1 prior to expanding coverage in the 1B group. According to the Wyoming Department of Health, there have been 46,147 reported cases of COVID-19 within the state as of Monday, with 3,627 being reported in Sweetwater County. That number, along with more than 5,800 vaccinations conducted as of last week, has resulted in a possible 33% of county residents who have been exposed to the illness, though Sweetwater County Health Officer Dr. Jean Stachon said last week the exact number is hard to pin down because people have likely been invected with COVID-19, but did not report it.

Ronda Zancanella, the public health response coordinator for the county’s district board of health, said the county will receive shipments of a newly-approved coronavirus vaccine this week, which join the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines available. The vaccine, known as the Janssen Vaccine, is produced by Johnson and Johnson. Unlike the other vaccines requiring an initial injection and a second booster, this vaccine is provided in through a single injection.

“We are excited to receive this vaccine. This means we have access to one more very effective vaccine that prevents serious complications of Covid in our county and that we can continue to provide vaccine to those currently eligible in hopes that we can continue to move through the phases and get vaccine available to anyone who wants it,” Zancanella wrote in an email to the Star.

Sweetwater County Public Health and Castle Rock Medical Center are booking vaccination appointments through March. Residents can call CRMC at 872-4590 or Sweetwater County Public Health at 922-5390 to book an appointment or, if they’re not part of the three priority vaccination groups, be placed on a vaccination waiting list.


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