With COVID becoming endemic, health departments offer booster shots

With a new strain of COVID spreading and flu season on the horizon... Just how important is getting vaccinated?
Updated: Sep. 21, 2023 at 10:00 AM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Fall officially begins at the end of this week. And with a new strain of COVID spreading and flu season on the horizon... Just how important is getting vaccinated really? Here was my interview with a health expert.

James: “I’m joined right now by the Public Information Officer for the Casper-Natrona County Health Department, Hailey Bloom. Now Hailey... It’s been making news across the country as of late... It appears there’s a new COVID strain going around. Tell us a little more about that.”

Hailey: “Yeah, so we’re continuing to see new variants. Of course, over time, we expected this. We will continue to see more variances. Certainly this isn’t the end. But yes, we’re seeing more variance. They’re (now) usually more transmissable, meaning they’re easier to catch. But they’re not having as bad of health implications, so that’s good news.”

James: “That’s very good news. So now, there’s a new booster coming out, from what I hear. I know I got a couple of shots a couple of years ago, when the first vaccines were coming out. Will this new booster be compatible? Tell us a little more about that.”

Hailey: “Yeah so this will actually be the first time for the boosters, that you can either previously been vaccinated, or not been vaccinated. And you’re eligible to get that booster. So, if you haven’t had any shots, you’re welcome to get this one. And then also if you’ve had previous shots but are interested in a booster, you’re also able to to do it.”

James: “Perfect! Now for this new booster that helps out with the new strain... Would you say everyone... Even including younger people should get it? Or do you think it’s better for just senior citizens? What’s your take on that?”

Hailey: “Of course we know that vaccines are one of our top ways to combat illness. So we’re still recommending that people stay up to date on their boosters, up to date on their vaccines. And then most certainly if they’re immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions... That may put them at a higher risk.”

James: “Good to know. And, on that note, with the new booster... The new vaccine coming out... You guys are going to be offering some shots coming up. When and where?”

Hailey: “So we’ll be doing our first booster and free clinic. That’ll be in drive-thru fashion here at the health department, 475 South Spruce Street. On Saturday the 30th, from 9am-1pm. And then we’ll also have a couple of clinics in October. Where you can get both of those vaccines, also in a drive-thru fashion. So, if you check our website, check our social media, we’ll have all that information there.”

James: “Free to the public, right?”

Hailey: “Yeah. So, we will be billing insurance. And most insurances should cover all the boosters and flu shots. And then we will have some coverage for the people who qualify for the uninsured program through the federal government called the Bridge Program.”

James: “So there we go. No reason not to get it. So that’s coming up on Saturday, the 30th. If you need a booster, feel free to come on out.”