SWEETWATER COUNTY – Sweetwater County received 975 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccine last week, and will receive 400 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week, according to Sweetwater County public health officials.
This means Sweetwater County will receive over 1,300 doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year.
Those receiving immunization first is the 1A group, which includes hospital staff, emergency medical services (EMS) providers, fire personnel, law enforcement, healthcare workers who are taking or handling COVID-19 samples, behavioral healthcare providers, dental and medical care providers, community nursing employees, home healthcare providers, school nurses, pharmacy staff, longterm care staff and residents, Able Hands and Life Skills staff and individuals receiving the services.
Of the 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, about 325 doses have been administered so far, according to Kim Lionberger, Director of Sweetwater County Community Nursing.
Castle Rock Medical Center received 60 doses, of which they administered all last week to staff and Mission at Castle Rock residents, according to Bailie Dockter, Castle Rock Hospital District CEO. Sweewater County Public Health started administering the vaccine this morning and have 46 people scheduled each day for Tuesday and Wednesday, Lionberger said.
Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County (MHSC) Incident Commander Kim White said the hospital has been administering vaccines to hospital staff, including administrators if they volunteer, EMS, and fire personnel. White said EMS and fire personnel have had a “good response” to volunteering for the vaccine. MHSC has administered about 265 vaccines and counting.
Both White and Dockter said no one has had any adverse reactions to the vaccine so far that they are aware of.
About Half of 1A Category Has Volunteered for Vaccine
Ronda Zancanella, Public Health Response Coordinator, said about 600 people in the 1A category have volunteered for the vaccine so far, which she believes is about half of the people in that category. Lionberger added that the vaccine is not mandated.
County Heath Officer Dr. Jean Stachon said to reach herd immunity in Sweetwater County, 70 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated or have gotten the virus. This means with over 40,000 people in the county, about 30,000 people have to be vaccinated or have been infected before to achieve herd immunity. The county has had just under 3,000 confirmed.
“We’re just at the very beginning of all this,” Dr. Stachon said.
She added that precautionary measures such as social distancing, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), staying home when sick, and hand washing will be around through at least spring of 2021.
Additionally, healthcare workers are required to continue using PPE and wearing masks even after getting the vaccine, as another dose is needed. The second shot for the Pfizer vaccine is required three weeks after the first shot, and the second dose of the Moderna vaccine is required four weeks later, Stachon said.
Next Categories for the Vaccine Released Later this Week
Once all the volunteers for the vaccine in the 1A category have received immunizations, the 1B and 1C categories will start receiving vaccines. They will not wait for more people in the 1A category to volunteer before moving on to the other categories.
Those included in the 1B and 1C categories have not been released by the state yet, but are expected to be later this week. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) have suggested essential workers such as those in education, food and agriculture manufacturing, postal service workers, grocery story workers, waste water industry personnel, and people 65 years and older be included in these categories.
Those who have tested positive for the virus before can still get the vaccine, as it is unknown at this point how long immunity lasts, Dr. Stachon said.
People can also delay their vaccination if they have tested positive for the virus in the past 90 days. Lionberger said she is delaying her immunization until her 90-day window comes closer. Though this is not required, it can allow more people who have not been exposed to the virus yet to receive immunization.
THE LATEST COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS NEWS & INFO FROM THE WYOMING DEPT. OF HEALTH
What to do if you feel sick: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are showing symptoms, please call your primary care provider or seek medical attention.
Please follow these tips to slow the spread of this virus:
- Follow Public Health Orders
- Wear cloth face coverings in public settings, especially when physical distancing of at least 6 feet isn’t practical.
- Stay home when sick and avoid other people unless you need medical attention.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Older people and those with health conditions that mean they have a higher chance of getting seriously ill should avoid close-contact situations.
- Long-term care and healthcare facilities should follow guidelines for infection control and prevention.
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