WYOMING — According to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) available doses of COVID-19 vaccines continue to grow slowly and steadily across the state.
The number of vaccinated Wyoming residents has significantly increased, according to WDH. The statewide vaccination effort has seen more than 75,000 Wyoming residents receive their first doses, as of Feb. 12, 2021.
“While overall available vaccine dose amounts remain low right now compared to high demand, we are seeing modest, continued increases in shipments we receive from the federal government of the authorized vaccines as well as more partners and providers coming on board,” said Angie Van Houten, Community Health Section chief with WDH.
Roughly 100 providers across the state are administering COVID-19 shots so far with more than 75 additional providers approved to participate as vaccine supplies grow. Most are working closely with county public health offices to support local efforts.
From the start, the federal government has been providing separate supplies for Veterans Affairs facilities, tribal populations and for Department of Defense personnel. Now the federal government is adding a program that will include providing more doses for the public through pharmacies in several Wyoming communities.
The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program will begin with small quantities of doses this week in Walmart stores in Casper (East 2nd location), Cheyenne, Cody, Evanston, Gillette, Laramie, Rawlins, Riverton, Rock Springs and Sheridan. Other Walmart-owned stores and other pharmacy chain locations will be added over time as supplies allow the federal pharmacy program to grow.
Appointments will be limited at this time to those who are 65 and older (plus eligible healthcare providers and first responders) according to Wyoming’s priority guidelines. This program is a separate federal pharmacy effort from the Walgreens/CVS program that has targeted long-term care facilities.
Van Houten noted there are differences between counties within Wyoming on distribution plans, processes, and status.
All Wyoming counties are working on Phase 1b priority groups and will likely not be vaccinating Phase 1c groups until later in the year. The limited number of available doses requires a phased approach to ensure vaccines reach those individuals most at risk and most impacted by the virus as quickly as possible.
Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer, and state epidemiologist with WDH 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.
“We are not there yet, but we are on the path back to normal and every day we get closer,” she said.
About The Author
Buckrail @ Lindsay
Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.
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