Public Health office gearing up for flu season; Also has small quantities of new shingles vaccine

The Fremont County Public Health office hosted a presentation Tuesday at the Fremont County Commissioners meeting in Lander.

Public Health Nurse Supervisor Kathleen Laidlaw said the office is staying pretty busy with recent events, including a “Safe Kids Fair” in Lander, and they are gearing up for a “Community Baby Shower” event next month.

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She also noted that the office is bracing for flu season. County Commission Chairman Travis Becker asked Laidlaw about the vaccine, and mentioned that last year they had ran out of the vaccine.

Laidlaw explained, that because “so many other businesses now offer the vaccine,” Public Health has started ordering less of the vaccines. She told the commissioners that a few years ago, they used to order about 3,000 doses, now it’s at about 800 doses.

Kathleen also mentioned that Public Health offers a new shingles vaccine, but they are having a “hard time keeping it in stock.” The new vaccine is called Shingrix, and Laidlaw explains it works to about 97% effectiveness. A previous shingles vaccine, she said, was only about 50% effective. Shingrix is a two-shot series.

Additionally Laidlaw mentioned the recent case of West Nile Virus in a human, and that the first in Wyoming this year was in Fremont County.

She also said that Public Health is likely in need of some new personnel very soon as they expect a couple staff changes.

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