By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
When will a vaccine for the coronavirus be available and when will it be distributed to Wyoming? No one is saying yet.
Earlier this week, Sen. John Barrasso, said the vaccine could be available to the U.S. beginning on December 11. As for the distribution, that’s another question.
He said he agreed with the Centers for Disease Control on who should get it first — doctors, nurses, and others who are treating the sick as well as the most vulnerable and elderly people who have medical conditions.
But there is no indication yet from Wyoming health or government officials on how many vaccine doses the state will receive in the so-called first wave or when that first wave will even occur.
Some reports have surfaced that the state would receive 5,000 doses of the vaccine during the initial distribution, but Wyoming Department of Health spokeswoman Kim Deti preferred not to speculate.
“There have been various estimates discussed and we are planning for scenarios based on estimates but we prefer to have a firm number before taking about any specific numbers,” she said in an email.
Gov. Mark Gordon’s office spokesman Michael Pearlman also wouldn’t discuss specific numbers.
“I know the Department of Health is planning for various scenarios, but I believe they will have a better idea of how many doses they can expect as we get closer to the date when the Pfizer vaccine is expected to be approved and become available,” he told Cowboy State Daily.
Vaccine numbers are available, however, for some other states.
Officials in Missouri, for example, expect to distribute 339,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines before the end of December.
“With that amount alone, we should be able to move through all of our long term care facility residents, staff, and health care providers,” an official with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said.
In Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont said 31,000 doses of a Covid vaccine will be available during the week of December 14 with 125,000 doses available by the week of December 21.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday announced that the first batch of vaccines will be received by Dec. 15 with additional shipments coming by Dec. 22.
He said the state would have 660,000 vaccines by the end of the month with a phased approach of distribution.
In Wyoming, Stitches Acute Care Center owner Amy Surdam tweeted that coronavirus vaccines in the state may begin being distributed in early 2021 and that Stitches has started the application process.