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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Retired Cody doctors lead an effort to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19

A doctor and patient reviewing the patient's medical record together.
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Dr. Greg McCue is a retired family physician who practiced in Cody for about 39 years. He said, as he watched his colleagues in the hospital deal with a spike of COVID-19 greater than last winter's, he brainstormed how to get more people vaccinated in the county to avoid problems.

"Honestly, we were plenty busy before the COVID struck this area. And now with COVID cases increasing, it makes it difficult to treat people that we've traditionally treated in small hospitals," said McCue. "The larger hospitals in the area are also affected by this, and so it makes it much more difficult to transfer patients that really would be best served in a higher level of care, tertiary level of care."

McCue said the current pace of the virus could seriously affect patient care. He realized people are more likely to listen to their regular physician on whether a vaccine is safe and effective. So he's taking his time to recruit signatures of doctors, physician's assistants and nurse practitioners that will appear in advertisements in support of the vaccine.

"It's been shown that people are more likely to listen to their regular physician or their family physician concerning whether it's safe and effective and whether they should receive a vaccine," said McCue.

McCue said most people dealing with COVID on the frontlines don't have the time or energy to get the message that vaccines are safe and effective. As of Wednesday, November 10, only 40 percent of Park County is fully vaccinated and there are only two ICU beds open at the Cody Regional Hospital and one ICU bed open at Powell Valley Healthcare.

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