'We’ve got to work together': Wisconsin communities prepare for arrival of COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccine makers sign pledge not to rush vaccine
Posted at 6:26 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 19:26:42-05

Wisconsin's state health officials, as well as, local leaders expect a COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year.

They are anticipating a limited release of vaccines and a phased-in approach starting with healthcare providers, support staff, and long term care staff.

The hope is by spring the vaccines, which will be administered in two doses per person, will be more widely available.

Meanwhile, state officials are working with public and private entities to get the logistics in place.

"It poses significant challenges such as the need for ultracold storage and multiple vaccines from multiple manufacturers on different schedules however this is what public health gears up for. We are building on what we know works," said Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

DHS is working on expanding its existing vaccination networks and testing COVID-19 components on its seasonal flu vaccine rollout.

However, the timing of getting the vaccines to Wisconsin and the people who want them also depends on approval from the Food and Drug Administration as well as shipping.

DHS said allocation will be based on state population and the final number for Wisconsin still has to be finalized.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow said they have done vaccine distribution before and they are updating plans for COVID-19, that includes creating a vaccine coordinator position to manage the supply chain and logistics.

While we wait, leaders called on the public to stay the course and double down on wearing face masks and social distancing.

"We’ve got to work together to get through this. It looks like a vaccine is going to get here in about 6 to 8 months, so it’s not like it’s going to be a long haul. I know we have eight months behind us, but we can do it," Farrow.

DHS stressed education and communication will be key throughout the process.

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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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