COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccine

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Keep an eye out for COVID-19 vaccine scams.

The Wyoming Department of Health sent out a press release Tuesday saying it had received reports of scammers calling people and pretending to be from local health departments or the state. Callers have been asking for prepayment for vaccines or for personal information, including social security numbers.

“We want to remind everyone that COVID-19 vaccines are free to those who are getting them and insurance is not required. No one should be asking you for payment to get a shot or to make an appointment," Health Department Director Michael Ceballos said in a statement.

Operation Warp Speed, the federal program to help develop and distribute vaccines, has paid for millions of vaccine doses. They are being distributed to the states and passed on to patients at no charge.

Some people are asked to show insurance or Medicaid cards so that providers can cover administrative costs, which the federal program doesn't cover. However, providers will ask for that information, which can usually be taken care of in person or online.

“It’s also important to ensure you are on the right website if seeking vaccine information or appointment details,” Ceballos said.

COVID-19 vaccination scams should be reported to the Consumer Protection Unit in the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office by calling 777-6397, emailing ag.consumer@wyo.gov, or submitting formal complaints at Ag.Wyo.gov/cpu/consumer-complaints.

The state Health Department publishes county-specific information that shows how many doses an area is slated to receive and how many have been administered. Go to Health.Wyo.gov for information.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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