Fewer people in Park County have been signing up to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Some of those who do are forgetting to get their second dose or are trying to change the schedule, said Park County Public Health Nurse Manager Bill Crampton.
That could start to cause problems, he added.
“People have become comfortable with the idea of getting the COVID vaccine in whatever form they choose, but they keep forgetting there is a process that needs to be handled,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can not to throw our tax dollars away. That’s what those vaccines represent.”
Once the vials are thawed, medical staff have only a few hours to administer the vaccine before it goes bad. With the Pfizer vaccine, the one the county has received the most of, staff must follow a careful schedule for thawing so enough vaccine is available for the clinics at the right times. When people fail to show up for second-dose appointments, the vaccine has to be thrown away if staff can’t find another person to give it to.
Though it may not have felt like it with Tuesday’s weather, summer is around the corner and Crampton is concerned the unofficial start of the season, Mother’s Day weekend, may mark a dramatic slowdown in vaccinations. He said a summer surge also isn’t out of the question.
“I’m worried that people are just going to kind of push it to the back burner and we’re going to have vaccines dying in the freezer,” he said. “It’s hard to say what summer will bring. We will have to watch the numbers very closely this summer.”
Vaccine clinics are available in Cody this month for anyone age 16 or older. There are two planned, one on Saturday, April 17, to help those who cannot make it to clinics during the week, and another on Thursday, April 22. As of Tuesday morning just three people had signed up for the two clinics. To sign up for a clinic, visit parkcounty.us/CoronaVirus.html.
Vaccines are also available through several partners, including Walgreens, Albertsons, Heritage Health, Billings Clinic and Medical Center Pharmacy. Each partner is giving each of the three vaccines.
“Don’t wait,” Crampton said. “Get your vaccine now. Get it done with so you don’t have it hanging out there.”