The COVID-19 Vaccine - How Will It Impact You? | Big Horn Basin Media

The COVID-19 Vaccine – How Will It Impact You?

Written by on December 8, 2020

Once a COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Wyoming, how will it impact Park County – and yourself?

Cody Regional Health, Powell Valley Healthcare, and other Bighorn Basin healthcare providers are preparing for the imminent arrival of a vaccine for the virus that currently has Park County and the entire state under a mask mandate.

Park County Public Health Nurse Bill Crampton says this is no longer a hypothetical discussion – vaccines are currently being produced for American inoculation and some will soon be arriving in Wyoming. Everyone wants to be prepared and know how the vaccination plan is moving forward.

The national plan is to implement vaccines will occur in three phases:

Phase 1

  • Limited doses of vaccine available to those at the highest risk and highest risk of exposure: first responders and healthcare workers who care for those with critical needs.

Phase 2

  • Larger numbers of doses will be available, and supply is likely to meet demand. Educational efforts will target critical populations who were not vaccinated in Phase 1.

Phase 3

  • All unvaccinated groups will be targeted as, by this point, there is likely to be a sufficient supply of vaccines. Special attention will be directed to populations or communities with low vaccine coverage.

Park County health agencies will likely be following a similar plan. The very first people to receive vaccines will be the county’s doctors, nurses, hospital technicians, law enforcement officers, and anyone in regular contact with high-risk individuals.

Crampton also explains that local pharmacies will be getting their own supply for high-risk community members.

“Walgreens and CVS/Rite Aid have been contracted with the federal government. They will be provided a separate supply of the vaccine. As far as I understand it right now, both Cody Regional and Powell Valley will take part in the programs, which means pharmacists will go in and vaccinate staff and residents at their long-term care centers. That’s another group at a high risk that we want to get vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

But what about the side-effects?

Crampton explains that vaccines are designed to “jump-start” immune systems for protection from future infections. Vaccines kick out simulations of the COVID-19 proteins that cause the virus’s detrimental effects. Our bodies respond by recognizing these foreign substances and developing responses.

“A lot of people say when they get the flu vaccine, ‘I get the flu every time’ – what most people get is their immune response doing what it’s supposed to do,” Crampton said.  “If you get sick – you get a fever, you get tired, you get body aches – those are common things. These vaccines will cause the same things. You will get body aches, you will have a low-grade fever, you’ll feel very tired – and it’ll go away in a day or so. That is a normal human body response to creating a response to prevent you from getting ill.”

Questions remain on the county’s future with the vaccine, particularly on whether it will be a one-time deal – like the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine — or whether it will need to be administered annually like the seasonal flu shot.

Crampton was eager to remind everyone that Park County won’t be out of the woods, even when the vaccine arrives. Face coverings and social distancing will still be integral for protecting everyone from the virus’s further spread.

The key is personal responsibility.

“Being responsible is going to help keep the case numbers down,” he said.

You can listen to the full interview with park County Public Health Nurse Bill Crampton here:

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