Park County: 50% Vaccinated, Surplus Supply, Declining Demand

Park County: 50% Vaccinated, Surplus Supply, Declining Demand

Written by on April 21, 2021

Half of Park County residents are vaccinated, although larger clinics are being phased out due to a reduced number of sign-ups and continuing lack of demand.

Park County Public Health continues the push for all residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine. It seems the message is and isn’t being heard, depending on the context.

When it comes to vaccination numbers, they continue to rise. As of Tuesday, April 20, over 8,000 people are fully vaccinated in Park County. Another 7,000 have received at least one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Given Park County’s population – 29,148 people as of 2019 – this means over half of the county is now fully or partially vaccinated.

In addition to the large clinics held at the Cody Auditorium and Park County Fairgrounds in Powell, the following locations are also offering vaccinations:

  • Billings Clinic (you don’t need to be a patient to sign up for a clinic here.)
  • Medical Center Pharmacy
  • Park County Public Health offices (Cody and Powell)
  • Heritage Health (Powell)
  • The Migrant Services clinic
  • Walgreens
  • Albertsons

While there’s an ample supply of doses still available, the lack of demand is causing some changes to the scale and frequency of Park County Public Health’s clinics.

One change caused a bit of frustration last Saturday.

Of the 600 available slots, only 185 people signed up for the Saturday, April 17 vaccination clinic. On the day of the clinic, only 157 vaccines were distributed.

With this shortage of participants, the decision was made to close the clinic early. Calls were placed on Friday and Saturday to remind those who signed up that they were scheduled for a shot to make them aware of the change.

On Saturday, the Public Health office was inundated with angry calls. Many of those who signed up and didn’t show up claimed they never received a call about the change. They arrived at the Cody Auditorium after closing time only to find the doors shut.

Lessons were learned from the Saturday clinic, but trends will not change.

Clinics will now feature reduced hours and may soon be held only once a week at Public Health’s offices.

Bill Crampton, Park County Public Health Nurse, says the shorter hours make sense for staff and volunteers.

“We are currently looking at adjusting our clinics to one day a week at the Cody and Powell offices,” Crampton says. “We know that we can put approximately ten people an hour through the Cody office or 60 to 70 a day. With the reduced response to the larger clinics, this may be the way we go in the near future.”

This is especially true with the reduced number of residents signing up to get vaccinated.

“We have a number of volunteers who have very generously given us their personal time to assist with the vaccination process,” Crampton says. “I can’t justify having them stand around waiting for long periods of time in the hope people who have signed up will keep their appointment.”

The next first-dose clinic is being held at the Cody Auditorium this Thursday, April 22. Only 102 of the 600 slots are filled, so the clinic will officially be reducing its hours – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Crampton is keen to remind Park County residents that now is the time if they planned to get vaccinated. Supplies may not be as abundant in the future as they are right now.

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