Getting the vaccine out for the coronavirus has involved an issue of supply, not demand.
“It’s a balancing act, trying to get as much out as you can with the needs of the people,” said Park County Public Health Nurse Manager Bill Crampton.
Around 3,500 doses of the vaccine have been given so far, Crampton said, with some people already receiving a second dose, though he did not have exact numbers as of Friday morning.
As has been the challenge all along, simply acquiring doses of the vaccine in has been a slow process. Despite calls at the federal level to increase production, Crampton said the rate of new vaccine shipments has yet to increase in the county. When it does, widespread availability would still be a ways off and he would not speculate on when the vaccine might become available for younger populations.
“There’s folks that really want to get the vaccine and they’ve expressed some dissatisfaction with when it’s coming out,” Crampton said. “I can only give vaccines when I have it.”
Crampton also warned against “vaccine shopping,” when people sign up for multiple vaccine clinic slots in multiple locations.
Though not widespread here, he said some families have signed up for clinics in both Powell and Cody and have been moved to one or the other.
Vaccine shopping has the potential to waste doses, and though that has not happened yet in Park County, Crampton cautions residents to think of their neighbors.
“Just remember, you’re interfering with other community members’ ability to get their vaccine,” Crampton said. “It’s really important to remember your community members as well as yourself.”
Park County is currently still in Phase 1a and 1b for vaccination.
To see if you qualify for the vaccine or to schedule an appointment when one becomes available, visit parkcounty.us/CoronaVirus.html.
Updates from the state government
Gov. Mark Gordon is easing some health restrictions in the state and has praised efforts to get the vaccine into people’s arms.
More than 11% of the state population has gotten at least their first shot, the release said. In addition, vaccination clinics have been held in every long-term care facility in the state.
The Wyoming Department of Health also announced last week that Walmart would start receiving some vaccine doses as part of a federal program, including the Cody Walmart.
The vaccines are available to those age 65 and older.
“Walmart here in Cody is getting 100 doses a week,” Crampton said. “That isn’t coming out of Wyoming stocks, it’s all a federal program.”
Crampton said Walmart is receiving the Moderna vaccine, which has easier handling requirements than the Pfizer vaccine, which requires extreme cold to store.
Visit walmart.com/covidvaccine for more information on scheduling an appointment.