Phase 1B set to start on time the state said in Tuesday briefing

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Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 12:37 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) -In the last two months, more than one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Wisconsin the state announced during its briefing Tuesday. Gov. Evers said Wisconsin’s vaccination program is only going to grow and expand from where it currently sits

Evers added that the “fight against the virus is not yet over,” urging Wisconsinites to continue to “stay safer at home” even if you have got a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or completed the vaccination series.

The governor also ordered flags to be flown at half staff Tuesday to honor the 500,000 Americans, including the more than 6,300 Wisconsinites, who have died from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.

Over the last week, the number of people fully vaccinated rose by 100,000 said Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk.

Wisconsin is one of the top states in the country when it comes to vaccine administration. The state’s allotment of COVID-19 vaccines increased more than 60 percent from mid-January. For at least the next two weeks, Wisconsin’s allotment for first doses will rise by 115,000.

“The vaccine is an important tool to stop the spread,” Van Dijk said.

New Vaccine Clinics

Evers announced four new vaccine clinics will open in Racine, Marathon, La Crosse and Barron/Douglas counties. The state hopes these sites will open within the next two months.

The exact locations within these counties has yet to be decided, but the counties were chosen based on population needs, who would be willing to host and geographic diversity among other reasons.

The clinic in Barron/Douglas counties will be split between the two. The goal of these clinics is to administer 1,000 doses of the vaccine each day. These counties alone would not be able to meet this number said the DHS.

Phase 1B

Deputy Secretary Van Dijk said the next phase of the vaccination plan will start as scheduled on March 1. The priority in this group is teachers and daycare providers.

800,000 to one million people are estimated to be included in this round. Van Dijk said there should be enough vaccines available to continue vaccinating all those in Phase 1A and begin vaccinating people in Phase 1B.

To make sure people are eligible for vaccination in this next round, the state is recommending the use of name badges or pay stubs to verify that someone belongs in this group, or providers can also have someone sign a form confirming they work in one of the qualifying industries.

Overall though Van Dijk said: “We’re relying on the goodwill of the Wisconsin people to be honest.”

Long-term Care Homes

Skilled nursing homes have almost completed their second visits for COVID-19 vaccinations. By the end of last week, they were 88 percent done. Most skilled facilities will get three visits before the state is done.

The state estimates that assisted living facilities and other nursing homes will have completed their vaccinations in the next few weeks.

Getting the 2nd Dose

DHS recommends getting both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine from the same provider. That provider keeps track of the first dose administered, and the state sends your allotted second dose to that location.

They also recommend getting two doses of the same vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine has a 21 day wait time between the two doses while the Moderna wait time is 28 days.

Out of State Vaccinations

Van Dijk addressed concerns about people coming into Wisconsin to get a COVID-19 vaccine. She said they know they have vaccinated people who do not live in the state, but added: “COVID-19 knows no borders.”

Vaccination priority is given to those who live, work and study in the state. The majority of vaccine doses will be given to Wisconsinites.

More Vaccines & Herd Immunity

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to be approved for use by the end of the week. Van Dijk said that two more vaccines are still in the works that will hopefully be added to the supply.

DHS is also creating a map that will be available on its website to help Wisconsinites find where to get a vaccine near them.

The state said to achieve herd immunity, 70 to 90 percent of the state has to be vaccinated. That means 7.4 million doses will have to be administered to adults in the state.

Currently 6 percent of the state has been completely vaccinated.

To watch the briefing in its entirety. click HERE.

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