By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Wyoming Department of Health is urging state residents not to cross county lines in their search for the coronavirus vaccine.
“Vaccine is being distributed largely based on population estimates. Going across county lines to receive vaccines can harm the other county’s ability to meet the needs of their own residents,” said Angie Van Houten, Community Health Section chief with WDH. “There are a few situations such as for certain workers employed in a different county than where they live that are understandable, but most people really should look to their own county’s resources.”
The vaccines currently being used in Wyoming require two doses for maximum protection. Vaccine supplies remain low compared to current demand.
“We want you to get both doses and part of our state and local efforts includes planning for two doses,” State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist said. “People will need to get their second doses in the same location where they get their first, which is another reason to stay closer to home.”
As of Friday, Wyoming had received 57,150 first doses of the vaccine (both Moderna and Pfizer) and administered 38,711 first doses.
The state received 28,700 second doses of the vaccine and administered 8,064.
The vaccine is being administered at no cost to patients.
Not every state is approaching their vaccination efforts the same way and there are differences between counties within Wyoming on distribution and progress.
“This is already a complicated effort for many reasons such as limited doses, specialized vaccine storage requirements and the need to target priority groups. When people go to other counties to get shots, it makes things tougher for everyone,” Van Houten said.
Natrona County recently ran out of the vaccine due to overwhelming demand from the public.