Wyoming Continues to Suffer from Low Vaccination Rates
Across the country, Wyoming sits as the third least vaccinated state, with only 42.8% of the population having received at least one dose, and 37.2% fully vaccinated.
On the county level in Wyoming, most hover around 33%, with Natrona county at 34.27% fully vaccinated, but on the high and low ends, Crook county is the lowest at 19.26% and Teton county is the highest at 70.82%.
Kim Deti, public information officer for the Wyoming Department of Health, said there is a slight difference in number counting between the state and the on the national level, as federal numbers include veterans getting vaccinated.
Deti said the state and each county is doing what it can to inoculate as many people as possible, but many are still hesitant about getting the shot.
"There are some people that have questions, and we've worked hard to provide answers and if people have questions, we encourage them to go to reputable sources for that information. There's maybe some political anger as a part of that. We do have people who don't see it's important for them personally, they may not see a personal need for it. People hear the odds and think, it won't be me, I won't be the one who gets that illness, but you really never know."
Hailey Bloom, Community Prevention Manager for the Casper-Natrona County Health Department, said the county and state has seen an increase in COVID cases over the past month.
"We've seen quite a bit of an increase over the last couple of weeks from what we had been hovering at as far as the summer and spring prior. We're definitely seeing more cases and we're definitely seeing more younger people who are more affected than say the older population. Whether that's because the older population tends to be more vaccinated or what that's from, it's hard to say. But we are definitely seeing more cases than we're used to."
Rachel Wheeler, public health response coordinator for Teton County Health Department, said there are a number of factors that contributed to the high vaccination rates in her county.
"We have a vaccine bus that we take around to different parts in our county to try to help reduce as many barriers for the vaccine. We also did a shots for swag campaign in the beginning of the summer, where over 70 businesses donated prizes and anyone who had received the COVID vaccine and lived or worked in Teton County, it was a random lottery for prizes. I don't know if we could say one of those things more than the other, but we just continue working with all our business and agency partners and sharing accurate information about the COVID vaccine to the community."
Wheeler said that in spite of the 70% vaccination rate in Teton County, they still have many people from neighboring counties and states coming who might not be vaccinated.
"Even though we do have a high vaccinate rate in our county, we do have a lot of seasonal workers, we have seasonal residents, we have a lot of tourists, then we have our community leaving and travelling, and all of those things play a role in case rates around our community."