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'We need help, and we need it now:' Gov. Evers addresses slow vaccination rollout

Sendoff ceremony for deploying Wisconsin Army National Guard battalion
Posted at 5:09 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 19:35:20-05

The state of Wisconsin has come under fire for a perceived slow roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Now, state officials are pleading with the federal government to help them speed up the process. According to the CDC's website - less than 4 percent of the population in Wisconsin has received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We need some help, and we need it now," said Governor Tony Evers.

In a live interview with the Washington Post Friday, Governor Evers said the state simply doesn't have enough doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine coming in.

"We are going to need more vaccines. that's the bottom line. if we want to continue to move our state forward," said Evers.

Dr. Jeff Potthof with UW Health doesn't deny the vaccine's roll out in Wisconsin is off to a slow start.

"I don't think anyone is refuting the idea that the vaccine roll out hasn't gone out as fast as we wanted it to go," said Pothof.

For facilities like Hayat Pharmacy, who just received their first shipment and began administering the Pfizer vaccine this week, say they too are playing the waiting game.

"The supply is a huge limiting factor here. Getting the vaccine has been the barrier because once we have it we can do thousands and thousands of people in a week," said Dr. Dimmy Sokhal, a pharmacist at Hayat Pharmacy.

With a new administration in the white house, Governor Evers says he's hopeful Wisconsin will soon see more shipments coming in.

"I am very glad that President Biden has been talking about using the national defense authority that he has in order to speed up production," said Evers.

Starting Monday, residents in Wisconsin who are 65 years or older will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, which is roughly 700,000 thousand people. Health officials say once that begins, we could see the percentage of people getting vaccinated in the state go up.

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Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

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