By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming has submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention its initial plan for distributing and administering a coronavirus vaccine to its residents, Gov. Mark Gordon announced Wednesday.
The draft plan relies on much of the vaccine ordering, distribution, administration and reporting infrastructure already in use by the Wyoming Department of Health.
The plan is expected to change over time and be continually updated as the state learns more details about the vaccine and the pandemic situation overall.
Gordon stressed that Wyoming won’t recommend and distribute a vaccine without being assured of its safety.
“I am truly impressed by the progress being made on a COVID-19 vaccine, and it is important for Wyoming to be ready when the vaccine arrives,” the governor said. “We have worked to put together a comprehensive plan, and I am delighted to say that Wyoming is ready to take action as soon as a vaccine becomes available.
I want to thank the Department of Health for their efforts in developing this plan even while we are still battling this pandemic in such a dynamic environment.”
The timing of the vaccine’s availability is unknown at this time. The vaccine is expected to be free.
Wyoming has developed mass vaccination plans as part of its pandemic planning efforts.
The state plans to use its network of public and private healthcare providers to first identify and prioritize at-risk populations, including long-term care facility staff and other healthcare workers.
Providers who enroll in Wyoming’s coronavirus vaccination program will receive the vaccine at no cost and must agree to provide the vaccine to any patient regardless of his or her ability to pay. Providers will be able to bill insurers for administration costs and to seek reimbursement for vaccination of uninsured individuals.
More information is expected to be made available in the coming months about priority populations, storage and handling requirements and federal allocation strategies.