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Jodie Savage receives the second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from maternal child health registered nurse Lennea Ramirez Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, at the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department. The health department released updated guidelines Monday about who is newly eligible to receive the vaccine, which includes employees of public transportation, grocery stores and the Postal Service, as well as people with medical conditions. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – The Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department will host a three-day COVID-19 vaccination clinic next week in downtown Cheyenne.

The clinic will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Emerson Building, 2001 Capitol Ave., in partnership with the Wyoming Department of Health. To sign up for an appointment during the clinic, submit an online form at tinyurl.com/citycountyclinic.

The goal is to vaccinate 1,900 people each day, City-County Health Executive Director Kathy Emmons said. As of Thursday afternoon, there were still many available slots.

Gov. Mark Gordon announced Wednesday that all 23 counties in Wyoming had entered phase 2, meaning that anyone age 16 or older in the state who wants a COVID-19 vaccine can schedule an appointment to get one. Laramie County announced last week that it would open up vaccine eligibility to the general population this past Monday, March 29.

The Pfizer vaccine is approved for anyone 16 years or older, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for anyone 18 years or older. You must live or work in Wyoming to receive a vaccine in the state, according to current Wyoming Department of Health guidelines.

As of Thursday, providers in Laramie County had distributed at least 22,489 first doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and 1,177 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to data provided by the Wyoming Department of Health.

Emmons said at least 15,706 Laramie County residents have received both doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and are now fully vaccinated, along with those who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Though Emmons and other public health officials want the numbers to be higher, as of now, Emmons said, she’s very happy with how many in the county have been vaccinated in the three months the vaccine has been available.

“I’m thrilled about that,” she said.

Skepticism surrounding the vaccine has decreased somewhat among Laramie County residents, Emmons said, with some people becoming more comfortable with the idea after their friends, family or coworkers received it with little or no side effects.

“They’ve seen the importance of what they’re going to be able to do, and being able to be around their family more – so the social and the economic side effects, the positive side effects, are now becoming more clear, and so people are becoming more interested in getting it done,” she said.

The amount of vaccine doses City-County Health is receiving has also drastically increased. In March, the local health department received about 5,300 doses. In April, they’ll receive at least 13,000.

“That doesn’t count what’s going into the pharmacies, like Walgreens and Walmart ... and Northstar – they get a direct shipment that does not come through (the health department),” Emmons said. “They will have several thousand more. So, we’ll easily have 15,000 doses in the county in the month of April.”

Emmons said City-County Health receives a lot of calls from people in bordering Colorado towns who ask if they’re able to get vaccinated in Wyoming. However, the decision about whether to expand eligibility beyond people who live or work in Wyoming is up to the federal government, she said.

Hannah Black is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s criminal justice reporter. She can be reached at hblack@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3128. Follow her on Twitter at @hannahcblack.

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