Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Single dose vaccine back on the table

“Breakthrough cases” are expected, according to CDC


April 29, 2021

The Johnson & Johnson version of the COVID-19 vaccine is back on the table after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended its continued use. The vaccine is once again available in Crook County, where, because it is administered in a single dose, it has so far been largely used for housebound people and those who have a fear of needles.

However, Crook County Public Health confirms that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is also more generally available. Patients may request this type of vaccine when calling to book an appointment.

According to the CDC, a pause was placed on this vaccine due to reports that it increases the risk of a rare type of thrombosis. Almost all cases of this serious condition involving blood clots with low platelets have occurred in adult women below the age of 50.

However, according to the CDC, “A review of all available data at this time shows that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.” Women younger than 50 are, however, advised that the risk exists, though it is extremely rare, and that other vaccine options are available.

If you do receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the CDC advises that symptoms of a blood clot with low platelets can occur up to three weeks later and include: severe or persistent headaches, blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain and easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the injection site. Seek medical care if you develop any of these symptoms.

Crook County Public Health is still calling for any member of the public over the age of 18 who would like to be vaccinated to contact the office. There is no longer a waiting list, which means an appointment can be scheduled for you immediately.

At this time, 1223 residents of Crook County have received their first dose of vaccine and 958 of those have also received their second dose.

Breakthrough Cases

The CDC has also released information about “breakthrough cases,” a term given to instances in which a person contracts COVID-19 despite having received the vaccine. Such cases, says the CDC, are expected.

“No vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness,” according to the CDC. “There will be a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated who still get sick, are hospitalized or die from COVID-19.”

On April 20, the number of people in the U.S. who had been fully vaccinated reached 87 million. At the same time, the total number of breakthrough cases was listed as 7157.

Of those patients, 64% were female and 46% were over the age of 60. Almost a third were asymptomatic, 7% were hospitalized and 1% died.

According to the CDC, some evidence exists that the vaccination can reduce the severity of the illness. Current data also suggests that the vaccines authorized for use in this country protect against most known variants circulating in the U.S.

At this time, no unexpected patterns have been identified in either the demographics of the breakthrough cases or the type of vaccine involved. Because there is always a small chance of contracting COVID-19 despite the vaccination, the CDC continues to recommend taking steps to protect yourself such as social distancing.

Local Situation

Wyoming has recorded just 317 new cases over the last week, bringing the ongoing total to 48,852. The number of active cases in the state increased by 52 over the same timeframe, now sitting at 410.

Two more deaths were added to the state statistics, one in Fremont and one in Natrona County. This brings the overall total in Wyoming to 705.

In Crook County, only one new case has been reported since last Monday. Though the county did enjoy several weeks of no new cases at all, this small number of new cases over the past couple of weeks continues the ongoing period of low pandemic activity in this area.

At this time, Crook County has recorded 396 confirmed and 33 probable cases in total, with just one active case.

“We have had a little bit of an uptick in cases over the last few weeks,” commented Micki Lyons, CEO of Crook County Medical Services District (CCMSD), with a couple of positives in the clinics and one patient, but otherwise a “pretty stable” situation.

CCMSD remains vigilant, she said, because there are case increases around the country and the variants are causing spikes in some areas. However, in light of the positive situation locally, visitation hours at the long term care unit have been increased from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Visitors are still asked to call ahead to schedule a time, said Lyons. This is to prevent a large number of visitors from turning up during one time window.

According to Lyons, “We don’t know if there are any variants in the county.” This is because the COVID-19 tests themselves only state whether a person is negative or positive and do not provide further information that would indicate the presence of a variant. Testing for variants, she said, can only be done at the state level.


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