Additional Flu and COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics Scheduled

Additional Flu and COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics Scheduled

ROCK SPRINGS – Residents that missed the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 or flu vaccine from the Sweetwater County Public Health have two new opportunities to be vaccinated.

Two walk-in clinics will take place in November at the public health office at 333 Broadway, Suite 110 in Rock Springs. The first takes place Friday from 3:30-6:30 p.m., while the second clinic takes place Nov. 17, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Along with COVID-19 and flu vaccines, high-dose flu vaccines formulated for people aged 65 and older will also be available.

Kim Lionberger, Director of the Sweetwater County Board of Health, said the prior vaccine clinic Oct. 3 proved popular amongst residents, with the 194 COVID-19 vaccine doses on hand being completely used up by the end of the clinic. Lionberger said she was surprised with how quickly they used the COVID-19 vaccines, forcing them to order more doses.

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One of the changes from the COVID-19 pandemic is the fact the government is no longer supplying vaccine doses, which has led to delays in receiving shipments. Lionberger said some counties that have only ordered Moderna’s vaccine have dealt with delays in receiving vaccine orders.

“The private sector has dropped the ball,” Lionberger said.

Sweetwater County Public Health have dealt with longer wait times for vaccines as well, having been forced to wait a week to receive a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines.

With the flu, Lionberger said there is still time to receive a vaccine before flu season arrives. She said the months with the highest flu cases tend to be December and January.

COVID-19 still circulates

The novel coronavirus first discovered in 2019 that led to a global pandemic is still circulating locally, though it isn’t tracked as closely as it was during the pandemic. Lionberger said people who get sick don’t often get tested to see if the illness is caused by the coronavirus. As such, exact numbers of COVID-19 infections aren’t available. Those that do receive COVID-19 testing have their test results sent to the Wyoming Department of Health.

The department of health continues to publicly keep track of confirmed cases. So far in 2023, the department recorded 4,672 laboratory confirmed cases, with another 2,322 probable cases and 83 COVID-19 related deaths. For the week of Oct. 24, the health department reports 299 confirmed cases in 2023, with two probable and confirmed cases reported in the last seven days. So far, five deaths in the county have been attributed to COVID-19.

Lionberger said a report she received from the department of health showed there were six confirmed cases, but finds that number to be low.

“I know there are more than six people with COVID-19,” she said.

One means of tracking that gives a better idea of how prevalent COVID-19 is in the county is testing done at local wastewater treatment facilities. The testing has taken place since the pandemic and measures the concentration of the coronavirus found in waste samples. While an exact number is hard to come by, the wastewater samples give a firm estimate as to how much of a given population is infected.