Park County Public Health: Vaccination Before Expiration
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 7, 2021
With Wyoming and Park County “seemingly” free of COVID-19, there’s a new effort to ensure an ample supply of vaccinations doesn’t go to waste this summer.
Park County Public Health Nurse Bill Crampton is once again working on getting the word out about vaccinations. As has been the case for several months, there is an ample supply and dwindling demand.
“Currently, there are 5,046 doses of the Pfizer vaccine available,” Crampton says. “Some of those doses are due to expire at the end of July. We have 50 doses of the Moderna vaccine available as well. So, please, spread the word not to wait. We won’t run out, and we have the ability to order more. Let’s try to use as much as we can of what we have before it expires.”
Crampton also notes the county has 75 doses of the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. However, those doses will expire a month earlier – on June 25.
Getting vaccinated is still free and as simple as ever, with only the vaccination location changing.
Due to the continuous drop in vaccination demand, the large public clinics at the Cody Auditorium and Park County Fairgrounds have stopped. Public Health says it was “financially and departmentally unsound” to continue large-scale operations once the demand dropped.
Now, vaccine clinics are being held at the Public Health offices in Cody and Powell on Wednesdays and Thursdays. You must still sign up for an appointment on the Park County website.
Other county facilities offering vaccinations include Billings Clinic, Medical Center Pharmacy, Walgreens, Albertsons, and Heritage Health in Powell.
Testing for COVID-19 is also an ongoing priority, although rapid testing is no longer an option in Park County.
Crampton says a supply of COVID-19 rapid tests is available, but they are being reserved for symptomatic patients. This isn’t a county rule, but part of the documentation that comes with the tests supplied, presumably from the Wyoming Department of Health.
Anyone who isn’t symptomatic but wants to get rapid results will need to go to an adjacent county for their test.
Domestic and international travel has been a major factor driving vaccinations. Crampton says if you plan to travel and aren’t already vaccinated, the sooner you get one, the better.
“Please plan in advance for travel requirements such as being fully vaccinated,” Crampton says. “Many have come wanting vaccines days before travel. In order to be fully vaccinated, there must be the appropriate gap between doses of vaccine (21 or 28 days), and you are not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks have passed after your second dose.”
Since the last of Wyoming’s public health orders were rescinded, Wyomingites are literally breathing freer. But Crampton adds a word of caution to his latest update.
“Although it would appear that the pandemic is winding down, be aware that we have a new virus that will be on our radar in the future. The vaccines provided have been doing a good job, notwithstanding that we have seen breakthroughs where fully vaccinated people are still getting COVID. As vaccines go, this isn’t unusual. There is always a percentage of people whose immune systems don’t respond to vaccines. It is difficult for people to understand that. We have vaccines, they are safe, and after careful thought and discussion with your provider, you should take to opportunity to get a vaccine now.
This has been a difficult year for all of us. It will get better. In the meantime, take advantage of the available COVID vaccines and consider becoming fully vaccinated.”
As of Sunday, June 6, there are 22 confirmed and 155 probable cases of COVID-19 in Park County. Thirty residents have died from virus complications during the pandemic.