All members of the University of Wyoming community are now eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19, another major step toward a return to a traditional fall 2021 semester.
Albany County’s vaccination program today (Monday) enters Phase 2 of vaccine administration under Wyoming Department of Health guidelines, meaning all county residents age 16 and up can schedule vaccination appointments. This includes all UW students.
Already, close to 11,000 county residents — including many UW employees and students with certain health conditions — have received at least the first dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine through the county’s vaccination program, a collaborative effort of Albany County Public Health, UW and Ivinson Memorial Hospital. On Saturday, about 315 students who live in UW residence halls and fraternity and sorority houses — who qualified under Phase 1c4 — received the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine, which requires just one dose.
“The main reason I’m doing this is that I’m always thinking about older people, like my grandfather,” said Julian Bustos, a freshman music education major from Cheyenne, as he waited for his shot Saturday at the old National Guard Armory owned by UW. “It makes me feel safer so I can be around people who are elderly and more susceptible. It’s about taking care of everybody by taking care of yourself.”
“It will keep my family safe and make it so I can see my grandparents,” said Matilda Schiewe, a freshman kinesiology major from Evergreen, Colo., shortly after she received her shot. She added that being vaccinated will help return to more in-person classes in the fall, which is especially important for “the hands-on aspect of the classes I’ll be taking next.”
Under Phase 2, the Albany County Vaccine Clinic and other local providers are administering the Pfizer (age 16 and up), Moderna (age 18 and up) and Johnson & Johnson (age 18 and up) vaccines by appointment. UW students should keep in mind that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines each require two doses several weeks apart, so those not planning to return to campus after spring break should consider either returning to receive the second dose or being vaccinated in their home communities.
There are several options to schedule appointments in Albany County:
— Albany County Vaccine Clinic — Individuals who have signed up for a My Health Connection account will have the opportunity to self-schedule a vaccination appointment. Due to appointment availability, scheduling links will be randomized within the system and sent to individuals. Individuals can continue to call the Albany County Vaccine Call Center to schedule at (307) 766-8222 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Due to high call volumes, individuals should remain patient and try again at a later time if their calls do not go through initially.
— Walmart Pharmacy — Walmart has received a federal allotment of the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible individuals can visit the Walmart website to schedule appointments.
— Walgreens Pharmacy — Walgreens has received a federal allotment of the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible individuals can visit the Walgreens website to schedule appointments.
— Pole Mountain Pharmacy — Pole Mountain has received a county allotment for the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible individuals can visit the Pole Mountain website to schedule appointments.
— Approved health care clinics — Stitches Acute Care, Laramie Pediatrics, Albany Community Health Clinic, Ivinson Medical Group, the Downtown Clinic and Family Physicians of Laramie have received a limited supply of vaccines. Patients of these clinics can call their provider offices to learn about vaccine availability.
Those who need assistance to travel for their vaccinations may request rides by calling UW Transit and Parking Services at (307) 766-7433. Requests should be scheduled in advance, if possible. Callers should indicate if the transportation is vaccination related and if any special accommodations are needed.
While vaccinations are not required for UW students and employees, they’re strongly encouraged. And, to allow the university to track overall vaccination numbers, students and employees must report their vaccinations once they’ve received them.
Students who receive their COVID-19 vaccinations should upload documentation to the Student Health Service patient portal as soon as their vaccine series is complete. This is as simple as taking a photo of your vaccination document and uploading the picture here: http://patientportal.uwyo.edu, using your regular UW user ID and password.
For employees, a quick reference guide has been created to help record this information within HCM.