By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Laramie County health official have joined their colleagues in Natrona County in announcing the county will begin vaccinating elderly people against the coronavirus this week.
In addition, beginning the week of Feb. 1, the Cheyenne-Laramie County Department will likely start offering coronavirus vaccine appointments, according to a social media post from the agency.
The state has established a hierarchy for people at risk from the illness to be vaccinated, with different risk groups to be vaccinated in phases. The decision on when to move from one phase to the next is being left with county officials.
The Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department has started offering vaccinations to people in the Phase 1B group, which includes not only the elderly, but also emergency medical workers (such as fire and police officers), funeral home employees and child care service providers.
The vaccinations are free to obtain, but people who are vaccinated must receive two rounds of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
“We are working with the state and community partners to establish alternate providers in the county, and we will share those when they have been approved,” the post said.
Another group of at-risk individuals will be vaccinated when Phase 1C is implemented. After that, the vaccinations will move to “Phase 2,” when other members of the public will be able to make arrangements to obtain the vaccine. Phase 1 overall provides specific vaccination targets in situations where vaccines are in limited supply and are being allocated for specific populations.
State health officer Dr. Alexia Harrist previously said priority groups and vaccine ordering are handled at the state level, while vaccinations are coordinated at the county level by local health departments and their community partners.
“Details on exactly where a county is with their progress through the priority group listings and specific vaccine availability and distribution information will largely be more available locally than from the state,” she said.