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Dr. Jean Allais, MD

Albany County health officer

Two COVID-19 vaccines with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) have started to arrive in Wyoming. Supplies are limited, and vaccines are initially being given to healthcare workers involved in direct patient care, and residents of long-term care facilities. The vaccines will be distributed at no cost, and initially based on a tiered prioritization schedule, which can be found on the Wyoming Department of Health website: https://health.wyo.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Updated-COVID-19-Vaccine-Priorities-Phase-1a-December-22-2020.pdf

These vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna are both mRNA vaccines. The technology used to make them has been in development for approximately 30 years, but there has been increased interest in the past decade. The reason mRNA vaccines are an attractive option for a pandemic, is that mRNA production can be accomplished extremely rapidly. Unlike traditional vaccines, the virus does not need to be grown in tissue or eggs.

Jean Allais, MD, is Albany County Health Officer

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