Tyler Johnson, [email protected]
SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYOMING (January 11, 2021) – Nine-hundred seventy-five doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is being delivered to Sweetwater County this week.
According to Kim Lionberger from the county public health department, the new doses are expected to arrive on either Tuesday or Wednesday. She said that she has not looked at the state of road conditions, however.
The new shipment of doses puts Sweetwater County at around 1,200, which includes 300 Moderna vaccine the county already has. According Lionberger, each vial contains up to six doses.
She said once the vial has been opened, the vaccine must be use within six hours.
In order to get a COVID-19 vaccine, a person must call public health and NOT the hospital. The vaccination clinics, which are held at Sweetwater Events Complex and Castle Rock Medical Center, are by appointment only.
Vaccinations are not being administered at the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County.
At the time, there is no online system to schedule an appointment. However, Lionberger is “optimistic” that one will be available by the end of January. She asked the public to remain patient as the public health has been dealing with an abundance of calls made to schedule an appointment.
The Wednesday time slot to receive a vaccination is full. Because a new shipment of the Pfizer vaccine is scheduled to arrive, the clinic will resume on Thursday.
According to Kristy Nielson, former Chief Nursing Officer who is helping out, there has been one bad reaction to the vaccine and it was a small reaction. She said the patient has a long history in reacting poorly, as well.
On Thursday, Jan. 7, health professionals have begun conducting vaccine to people who fall in the 1B phase.
Those people include:
- Fire, police, 911, correctional staff, search and rescue, and other in-person emergency response personnel not included in Phase 1a (including ancillary support for air ambulance and hospitals and Department of Family Services caseworkers)
- Funeral service practitioners and in-person employees necessary for funerals.
- People who are 70 years of age and older. If necessary, populations may be broken down to vaccinate those who are 80 years of age and older first.
- National Guard and Air Guard members likely to be activated for response to the pandemic.
- In-person employees within congregate settings such as group homes, halfway houses, homeless shelters, child and youth serving facilities.
- Healthcare providers, behavioral health providers, and social workers unable to physically distance and unable to provide services through tele-health. Healthcare facility surveyor/compliance evaluator and ombudsmen.
- K-12 education (teachers and support staff).
- Child care service providers.
- Public transit employees – community transportation buses.
- Grocery store employees, commercial meat processing employees, feedlot employees, other food supply chain facility employees, and food manufacturing companies with 25 or more employees.
- US Postal Service employees and delivery service companies (such as FedEx and UP) likely to have more than 15 minutes of exposure to members of the public; clinical laboratory specimen courier employees.
County Public Health Officer Dr. Jean Stachon said that Sweetwater County uses all of its doses they are given.
“The state is looking at counties using the vaccine,” she said. “If we didn’t have any in the freezer, we’ll get more.”
Phase 1A will continue, but Stachon said they are not waiting. They will move onto Phase 1B patients and will administer 1A patients upon request.
People in 1A category include:
- Hospital staff – direct inpatient care staff and emergency department (ED) staff, including providers working temporarily at the hospital.
- EMS personnel/fire department. Personnel who are EMTs
- Long-term care facility (LTCF)/assisted living facility (ALF) healthcare providers (HCPs)
- Public health nursing (PHN) staff and other HCPs administering vaccines to critical populations in Phase 1a.
- Tribal public health and HCPs – receiving vaccine through Indian Health Services
- PHNs and HCPs who regularly conduct COVID sample collection.
- Inpatient/residential behavioral health facility HCPs
- Urgent care clinics and other medical clinics
- Law enforcement – patrol officers and correctional facility officers (city, county, state and federal); coroners and deputy coroners.
- Licensed/credentialed medical and dental direct care staff working in other locations who have regular exposure to potentially positive COVID-19 patients or infectious material.
- PHN offices and local health departments – nurses and staff.
- LTCF and AF residents and other staff not already vaccinated; intermediate care facility staff and residents; residential service settings for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities of 3 or more developmental disability waiver participants (Participants and direct support professionals).
- Home health healthcare providers – including aging network in-home providers.
- School nurses.
- Wyoming Public Health Laboratory and other clinical lab staff conduction COVID-19 testing if not included above; blood bank employees.
- Pharmacy staff.
- Other healthcare facility staff – ancillary support staff who have regular exposure to potentially positive COVID-19 patents or infectious material, including supporting staff from out of state.
If a person meets the criteria for Phase 1A or 1B, call 307-922-5390 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment.