The Wyoming Department of Health has announced that Wyoming’s phased approach to providing safe, free and effective vaccinations is continuing on schedule, across the state.

Currently, a targeted vaccination effort with focus on specific groups is the priority, based on availability. The COVID-19 Prevention Vaccine Campaign is still focused on Phase 1A, which includes:

Healthcare workers with regular potential to COVID-19 patients or infectious materials (primarily healthcare workers on the frontline)

Residents and staff of long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities and residential care facilities for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

The Department of Health notes that a targeted effort partnering with pharmacy chains will offer vaccinations to residents of many Wyoming nursing homes and assisted living facilities. This effort is planned for early January.

“Right now, we remain focused on Phase 1A priorities throughout the state,” said Dr. Alexa Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH.

Though Wyoming is still in Phase 1A, Phase 1B vaccination priorities have been established and are generally being described to include people who are 70 years of age or older, as well as other frontline essential workers who interact with the public on a daily basis and are unable to consistently distance themselves from others.

Dr. Harrist said that priority groups, as well as vaccine ordering, are handled at the state level, while vaccination distribution is handled at the county level by local health departments and community partners.

Health officials will continue to update the community via website postings, social media posts and messages from employers and partner groups. State and federal updates will continue to be posted as well.

“I’m excited about recommending these vaccines and know many people are anxious to receive them, but this is a process with many steps and most of us will need to be patient until it’s our turn,” Harrist said. “For now and for some months to come, we all need to continue wearing masks, social distancing and staying home when we are ill as we take steps toward ending this pandemic and getting things back to normal.”

The Department of Health said that “More detailed descriptions of both “Phase 1A and Phase 1B Distribution” priority groups can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization/wyoming-covid-19-vaccine-information/.

 A Phase 1C priority list is also expected before Wyoming moves toward Phase 2. Phase 1 overall is intended for when vaccines are in limited supply and are being allocated for specific populations.”

It’s important to note that those who receive the vaccine will not be asked to pay any fees. Additionally, the vaccine that is currently authorized requires two separate doses for maximum protection.

More information about COVID-19 vaccines from the CDC can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html.

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