Everyone should get the COVID-19 vaccine during its phased release, when they are able to do so. If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine related to your own medical history, consult your physician before getting vaccinated.
Groups Who Should Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
These groups are among the most sensitive, and should seek out the vaccine as they are able during the phased release of doses.
- People with underlying medical conditions
- Adults over the age of 50
- The immunocompromised
- People who have or have had COVID-19, and who have taken a COVID-19 antibody treatment
Clinical trial data indicates the vaccine is safe for and helps protect people with previous infections. The CDC recommends vaccination to protect against reinfection. Since reinfection seems to be uncommon in the 90 days after infection, the CDC recommends waiting for at least 90 days before vaccination.
Groups previously advised against getting the vaccine
- Teenagers who are 16 or 17
While the full gamut of testing of the COVID-19 vaccine has not been completed on children below the age of 18, more than 153 teens aged 16 and 17 were included in the Pfizer trial, and early analysis of that data found no safety issues. With the limited information available, teens 16 or 17 years old can be vaccinated with the appropriate consent of a parent or guardian.
- Pregnant or lactating mothers
The risk to pregnant women is considered low, since there is no live virus in the mRNA vaccines, the vaccine degrades quickly, and does not enter the nucleus of the cell. Similarly, mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to a breastfeeding infant.
- People with common allergies, like food or mold allergies
Individuals with food or mold allergies were included in the clinical trials, and data indicates those with typical allergies had no adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine. The only individuals excluded from the clinical trials had specific vaccine-related allergies.
Groups Who Should Not Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
- People with known vaccine allergies
The COVID-19 vaccine will be free or low cost, so that cost will not be an obstacle to getting the vaccine. Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance are required to cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, uninsured Wyoming residents will have access to free vaccines.
More importantly, a vaccine provider may not turn you away for the vaccine because of an inability to pay or your medical coverage status.
Vaccines must go through a detailed scientific evaluation before pharmaceutical companies can submit them to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval. Each phase of the evaluation includes three different clinical research studies or trials. In the clinical research study or trial, the vaccine is tested on people who volunteer to be part of the study. Each clinical trial emphasizes safety of the vaccine on people. As the research moves through to the next phase, the group of volunteers becomes bigger to include more diversity in people and circumstances.
The scientific community has made a concerted effort to recruit a diverse group of volunteers for every phase of COVID-19 vaccine trials. Populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to generations of systemic inequities, including Black/African American, Latino/a, and American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian communities, all participated in the clinical studies.
The FDA requires that all vaccines undergo this rigorous scientific process, including three phases of clinical trials, before they will authorize or approve the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines are subject to the same safety standards as other vaccine trials. Additionally, two independent advisory committees — FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) — will also review a vaccine’s safety data before it is made available to the public.
These are the same actions that can protect you from getting COVID-19 or any respiratory illness.
- Follow public health orders.
- Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where physical distancing of at least 6 feet isn’t practical.
- Stay home when sick and avoid other people unless you need medical attention.
- Older people and those with health conditions that mean they have a higher chance of getting seriously ill should avoid close-contact situations.
- Long-term care and healthcare facilities should follow guidelines for infection control and prevention.
Important things to remember
- Disease symptoms, which may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure, include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. Older residents and people with certain health conditions have a higher risk of developing more serious illness.
- It is important to call ahead before going to see a doctor or emergency room to prevent the spread of illness. Tell them your symptoms and that you suspect you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 or had recent travel to a country that is experiencing community spread.
We advise Wyomingites to always be prepared for an emergency — like a large snowstorm– and have a plan for your family or household.
- Not all coronaviruses are COVID-19. There are many other kinds of common coronaviruses currently circulating in Wyoming and the U.S. that cause respiratory illness. There also are many other kinds of respiratory illnesses (such as colds and flu) circulating right now.
- COVID-19 is a new coronavirus. Before this current outbreak, people had never experienced or been made sick by this virus.
- This virus is spreading from person-to-person and cases have been detected in every state in the United States.
- Symptoms of this new coronavirus infection include fever, cough and/or shortness of breath. Symptoms usually appear within two to 14 days after exposure.
Telemedicine at Castle Rock Medical Center
We have implemented additional safety measures and are seeing all patients in-person or via telemedicine. Our lab and radiology departments are also open. Please follow all scheduler instructions.
Telemedicine Appointments: 307-872-4590
Wyoming Health Department Patient Hotline
Castle Rock Medical Center continues to monitor and update information with the progression of COVID-19 throughout the state of Wyoming. This page was developed to provide ongoing updates of information and guidelines to keep our Staff, Patients, Visitors and the General Public up-to-date and informed. We are working closely with our healthcare partners at the local, state and federal level to ensure that we are preparing protocols based on the latest guidelines and recommendations.