Teton County Health Department and St. John’s Health Begin COVID-19 Vaccine Administration
Teton County Health Department and St. John’s Health will begin administering COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare workers this week, in accordance with guidelines from the Wyoming Department of Health. The green light to begin administering the vaccine came after the FDA granted emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend it for people age 16 and older. Teton County was able to receive the Pfizer vaccine because St. John’s Health had previously acquired the ultra-cold freezer required to store it.
“With our partners at St. John’s, we have been looking forward with much anticipation and preparation to having the vaccine available in Teton County,” said Jodie Pond, MPH, Director of Health at the Teton County Health Department. “Over the next several weeks, we will be able to vaccinate those who are charged with taking care of the health of our community.” The Teton County Health Department will continue to work closely with the Wyoming Department of Health on plans to vaccinate additional segments of the community as more doses of vaccine become available. Guidance for developing distribution plans has been provided by CDC, ACIP, and the Wyoming Department of Health Medical Ethics Committee, based on the State of Wyoming’s vaccine plan.
The initial group to receive the vaccine will include hospital direct care staff, paramedics and EMTs, long-term care and assisted living facility providers, public health nursing providing COVID-19 vaccines, and others listed in the Wyoming Department of Health’s 1A tier as additional vaccine shipments arrive in Teton County.
“A vaccination is critical to moving toward the conclusion of this pandemic,” said St. John’s Health CEO Paul Beaupre, MD. “We are all eager to see vaccine provided to other tiers of the community, including essential workers and high-risk populations. We are grateful to be taking this huge step forward this week and hopeful that the rest of the community will want to follow in our footsteps once the vaccine is more widely available.”
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine in Teton County, WY, visit https://www.tetoncountywy.gov/2251/COVID-19-Vaccine-Information. Until at least 80% of the community has received the vaccine for COVID-19, we are asking all members of the community to adhere to public health COVID-19 mitigation measures: hand washing, wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and staying home when sick.
Rachael Wheeler, MPH, Public Health Response Coordinator, Teton County Health Department, firstname.lastname@example.org, 307.732.8446
Karen Connelly, Chief Communications Officer, St. John’s Health, email@example.com, 307.739.7380