By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
National weather issues are temporarily preventing some shipments to Wyoming and other states of vaccines intended to help prevent future coronavirus infections, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.
WDH is not expecting any Moderna vaccine doses to be delivered to any of its state locations this week due to the weather problems in other states.
Wyoming was slated to receive 5,700 first doses and 3,700 second doses for its distribution process. Shipments to the Walmart locations currently involved in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program are also affected.
“At this point, we are awaiting updates from our federal partners about next week’s shipments,” said Angie Van Houten, Community Health Section chief with WDH.
As efforts to provide free, safe and effective vaccinations continue, more than 93,000 Wyoming residents have received their first dose so far when state and special federal counts are combined.
“Unfortunately, while we don’t have details available, we expect distribution plans and appointments in many of our counties may be affected in the coming days,” Van Houten said. “As we get more information from the national level, we will let our county and healthcare provider partners know what they can plan to receive and when.”
Each of the currently authorized coronavirus vaccines requires two doses for maximum effectiveness.
“While availability of vaccine compared to current demand has been an ongoing issue, it’s frustrating to face this issue right now,” Van Houten said. “We have to ask people to stay tuned for state and local updates.”
Because some of the affected vaccine shipments included second doses, Van Houten noted individuals who are delayed in receiving their second dose can still receive the vaccine when it is available.
“There will not be a need to ‘start over,’” she said.