Wyoming submits initial COVID-19 vaccination plan to CDC
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Mark Gordon announced that Wyoming has submitted its initial plan for distributing and administering a COVID-19 vaccine to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The draft plan utilizes much of the vaccine ordering, distribution, administration and reporting infrastructure already in use by the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH). The plan is expected to change over time and be continually updated as the state learns more details about the vaccine and the pandemic situation overall.
Governor Gordon stressed that Wyoming will not recommend and distribute a vaccine without being assured of its safety.
“I am truly impressed by the progress being made on a COVID-19 vaccine, and it is important for Wyoming to be ready when the vaccine arrives,” Governor Gordon said. “We have worked to put together a comprehensive plan, and I am delighted to say that Wyoming is ready to take action as soon as a vaccine becomes available. I want to thank the Department of Health for their efforts in developing this plan even while we are still battling this pandemic in such a dynamic environment.”
While the timing of the vaccine’s availability remains unknown at this time, the WDH is working to be ready to make the most of this important resource once it becomes available. The Immunization Unit of the WDH has extensive experience in enrolling providers, distributing vaccines, and tracking vaccine doses. Wyoming has had mass vaccination plans as part of its past pandemic planning efforts as well.
Wyoming’s COVID-19 vaccine plan utilizes a phased approach based upon CDC guidance to anticipate limited initial availability of a vaccine. The state plans to utilize its network of public and private healthcare providers to prioritize at-risk populations in the first phase, including long-term care facility staff and other healthcare workers.
The vaccine itself is expected to be free. Providers that enroll in Wyoming’s COVID-19 vaccination program will receive the vaccine at no cost and must agree to provide the vaccine regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Providers will be able to bill insurers for administration costs and to seek reimbursement for vaccination of uninsured individuals.
More information is expected to be made available in the coming months about priority populations, storage and handling requirements and federal allocation strategies. As part of Operation Warp Speed, federal agencies will announce when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved.