By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Natrona County health officer is encouraging anyone who is eligible to obtain a coronavirus vaccine to get it as soon as they can, noting all three vaccines are equal in their risk minimization.
“Whatever vaccine you can get, get it,” Dr. Mark Dowell said in a Facebook video on Monday afternoon. “The whole goal is to hopefully cut down on transmission.”
He was referring to the two already-available vaccines manufacted by Moderna and Pfizer, as well as the newly-released vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson. The latter vaccine only requires one dose to be effective.
“The vaccines are geared to keep you out of the hospital, to keep you from dying and to keep you from passing [the virus] to somebody that’s high risk that may end up very ill,” Dowell said in the video. “Please get them. It will help us open our economy. I’m sick of masking and so are you.”
Dowell’s comments came just hours after Gov. Mark Gordon announced that he was easing many state health orders, including lifting the mask mandate that has been in place since December.
Gordon said his decision to lift the public health orders reflected the state’s continually improving health metrics and is consistent with his approach of balancing public health with protecting livelihoods.
Wyoming has seen a declining number of active coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks, and has seen significant success in delivering the COVID-19 vaccine, with the state’s most vulnerable residents now having access to the shot.
Dowell said he supported Gordon’s decision and added that he and his fellow health officers have no intent of implementing a new mask order in Natrona County unless there was a major surge in coronavirus cases.