A group of retired physicians is leading a new push to convince more people in Park County to get vaccinated against COVID.
The goal, said organizer and retired hospitalist Dr. Greg McCue, is to show how many of the area’s doctors are in support of vaccines.
He said the push will include ads listing the signatures of at least 25 area doctors, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners.
“We want to motivate people who are hesitant, looking at their options,” McCue said. “If they haven’t heard much about it, it’s out of sight, out of mind. These are people that if their doctor says it’s a good idea, that they should do this, it’ll help community and keep their family safe.
“If their own doctor says that, hopefully it’ll change their behavior. If we get enough doctors to sign on, people will see that.”
McCue decided to form a group of retired doctors to push this message after seeing how much his former colleagues were struggling under the weight of record numbers of hospitalized COVID patients during the fall. McCue had retired from Cody Regional Health as a hospitalist in May, in part because he said it appeared the pandemic was waning.
“I was just dismayed to see they’re seeing twice as many COVID patients, younger, sicker patients than I took care of in the first year of the pandemic,” he said. “Now, when they’re literally being crushed with COVID cases, you don’t hear much about it.”
McCue said he understands there’s a segment of the population who won’t be swayed by the argument his group plans to make, but he said it’s worth the effort to get his information on vaccines out there, even if it only changes a few minds.
“There’s a lot of misinformation out there. This is an attempt to bring quality, accurate information about vaccinations to the people of Cody, Powell too,” he said. “This goes on and on until we have enough vaccinations or enough people with natural immunity who have stuck around.
“The problem with natural immunity is you’ve got to run that risk of dying, going in the hospital and tying up medical resources.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending a team of individuals who will be providing COVID-19 vaccinations on Thursdays and Fridays. This drop-in clinic will be operating out of Northwest College’s Yellowstone Building (corner of 7th and Division Streets), conference room 103, each Thursday from noon-7 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. every week until Christmas. They will be offering Pfizer vaccinations, and no appointment is required. This is a two-series vaccine, so people should plan to attend two times to become fully immunized. Those with questions should call Park County Public Health (307) 754-8870.”