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AARP Wyoming talks about COVID-19 Vaccines

Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 9:06 AM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Sam Shumway with AARP Wyoming joined the Wyoming News Now morning show to talk about the COVID-19 vaccine process in the state.

Here is some more information from AARP Wyoming.

As of FEB 17: Source.

First Vaccine Doses Received: 83,675 (43,675 Pfizer/39,800 Moderna)

85% First Vaccine Doses Administered: 71,927

Second Vaccine Doses Received: 43,700 (19,500 Pfizer/24,200 Moderna)

67% Second Vaccine Doses Administered: 29,318

This data is 72 hours behind. These counts do not include federal doses provided separately and directly for tribal, VA, and military facilities.

Intro- The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has begun, including in Wyoming. There are many questions and concerns revolving around the vaccine. It is important to remember that the vaccine is free, safe, and is being distributed in phases.

Questions

How much will the vaccine cost? And what if I don’t have insurance?

  • The vaccine is free, regardless of insurance status. Vaccination providers can charge an administration fee for giving someone the shot. Vaccination providers can be reimbursed for this through the patient’s insurance company or by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund. No one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay the vaccine administration fee. Source.

Is the vaccine safe?

  • Yes. The authorized vaccines require two doses for maximum effectiveness. As people are getting vaccinated, CDC, FDA, and other federal partners are using data sources to conduct ongoing safety monitoring from people that have received the vaccine.

What is Wyoming’s phased approach to distributing the vaccine?

  • There are currently working through phases 1a-1c.
  • 1a contains persons who have regular potential for exposure to COVID-19 patients and infectious materials.
  • Hospital staff, EMS personnel, long-term care facility healthcare providers, public health nursing staff administering vaccines, urgent care clinics, law enforcement, home health care providers, school nurses, pharmacy staff.
  • 1b contains persons who are 70 years of age or older and frontline essential workers who must interact with the public.
  • Fire, police, 911, search and rescue, and other in-person emergency response personnel not covered under phase 1a, funeral service practitioners, National Guard and Air Guard, in-person employees within congregate settings, K-12 education, child care providers, public transit employees, US postal service employees.
  • 1c includes the homeless, individuals in group settings, critical infrastructure workers, and individuals living in college dormitories.

Notes:

-Two doses of the vaccine are needed to be taken by every person for the most protection.

  • Pfizer-BioNTech doses should be given 3 weeks apart.
  • Moderna doses should be given 1 month apart.

-People with underlying medical conditions can receive the vaccine provided they are not allergic to the ingredients.

2021 Legislative Session Overview

  • The 2021 session is well underway, and is likely going to remain virtual this year.
  • The Legislature started meeting in committees Jan. 19-21 and advanced committee bills from the interim.
  • The Legislature then started meeting again Jan. 27 for eight days through Friday, Feb. 5.
  • Bills that didn’t make it through this eight-day session were referred to standing committees to work on the week of Feb. 22
  • The week of Feb. 22, there will be three days of standing committee meetings to consider bills.
  • One big bill to watch for is the Budget Bill, which will drop on the Legislature’s website no later than Feb. 22.
  • On March 1, the legislature comes back into session, most likely virtually.
  • The week of March 8, the budget will be heard that week.
  • If all goes according to plan, the session will be out by April 2.
  • To follow the proceedings, go to wyoleg.gov and you can find bills on file, and links to watch the session virtually.
  • AARP Wyoming’s priority efforts this year include:
  • Restoring funding for the Wyoming Home Services program. Without this money, around 2,000 people in the state will no longer have home health or chore services available and risk an early move to the nursing home.
  • Voter ID bill. Previous year’s Voter ID bills have struggled not to disenfranchise the senior vote, especially those who no longer have a drivers license. This bill allows Medicare cards to be used as Voter ID.
  • Disclosures for Air Ambulance Memberships. Did you know that Medicare pays 80 percent of all air ambulance trips? If you have a PArt B supplement, the rest may also be covered meaning you don’t need an air ambulance membership. However, it is really rare that those selling you the memberships every tell you that. Instead, they rely on high-pressure sales techniques to sell you on a membership. If a bill goes through the legislature, those selling you memberships will have to disclose Medicare’s coverage for air ambulance.
  • For each of these issues, your legislators want to hear from you. Take the time to call, email, or text them.

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