Patience is Key: Vaccine Administration Will Take Time

Submitted to OnFocus – Wisconsin Rapids, WI – Last week Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI DHS) announced that adults age 65 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning January 25. Currently, health care workers and long term care staff and residents under Phase 1A, and police and fire personnel under Phase 1B are still in the process of being vaccinated. If you are considered an eligible recipient and want to receive the vaccine, fill out an interest form online at http://www.co.wood.wi.us/Departments/Health/CovidVaccination.aspx# or call 715-421-8931. As the vaccine becomes available, you will be contacted to have an appointment scheduled for you. This interest form may be removed once a more sophisticated system is in place to schedule vaccines in the future.

Wood County Health Department is following prioritization guidance from WI DHS. Phase 1B officially began on January 18. This phase includes EMS, police and fire personnel, and adults age 65 and older. Phase 1B will be broken into smaller sub groups and prioritized based on risk and recommendations from the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC) and State ethics committee. WI DHS is in the process of defining essential workers for this phase. Learn more about the prioritization guidance at http://www.co.wood.wi.us/Departments/Health/CovidVaccination.aspx.

The COVID-19 vaccine is also available through health care providers such as Ascension, Aspirus, and Marshfield Clinic Health System. They are using the same prioritization guidance from the WI DHS. The vaccine is voluntary and is offered at no cost to the recipient. Health departments and health systems are coordinating the best they can to ensure those who are eligible to receive a vaccine receive it as soon as they are eligible and the vaccine is available.

Demand of the COVID-19 vaccine continues to exceed the supply of vaccines distributed each week. It is anticipated more vaccines will become available in coming weeks. The COVID-19 vaccine will likely not become widely available to community members until later in 2021. An announcement will be made when the Wood County Health Department is able to take appointments for other groups. Wood County Health Department asks the public for continued patience.

As of January 25th, 5,112 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Wood County residents. Wood County Health Department continues to vaccinate eligible recipients at drive thru community based clinics. The next COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held on January 27 at Marshfield Fire Department (514 E 4th St, Marshfield) and on January 28 at Alexander Field Airport hangar (3620 1st. St. South, Wisconsin Rapids). Appointments are required and these clinics are not yet open to the public. If you feel you are in Phase 1A and have not been offered vaccination, please email [email protected].

On January 19, Governor Evers signed a new Executive Order and Emergency Order declaring a statewide public health emergency and extending the statewide mask mandate until March 20, 2021. Read more about the Orders here: http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/011921evers.pdf. A face covering is required to be worn by everyone, age five and older (unless exempt) when indoors or in an enclosed space, other than at a private residence; and when people who are not members of an individual’s household or living unit are present in the same room or enclosed space. As a reminder, wearing a mask, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others still applies to those who have been vaccinated.

Please do not call the Wood County Health Department regarding the COVID-19 vaccine process unless you are an eligible recipient at this time (health care workers, long term care staff and residents, police and fire personnel, adults age 65 and older). To stay informed on COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and county-level statistics, please watch for future press releases and visit the Wood County Health Department Facebook page or website. If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211.

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News Desk
Author: News Desk