MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — We’re still months away from the average healthy person in Wisconsin getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Top state health leaders are sharing more about their plans to distribute those shots when the time comes.
Andrea Palm, secretary-designee for Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said 192 people have already been vaccinated in Wisconsin.
“We’re all hungry to understand more about how this is all going to go and how long it’s going to take and when it’s going to be available for me and for my family,” Palm said.
Wisconsin has eight regional hubs to store Pfizer’s vaccines. All eight facilities are outfitted with ultra cold storage.
On Monday, 10,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived at two regional hubs in Wisconsin. On Tuesday, four hubs received an additional 22,000 doses. On Wednesday, the last two regional hubs were expect to receive the remaining 18,000 doses.
In total, Wisconsin’s initial allocation is 49,725 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, and more doses are expected in the coming weeks.
Once Moderna’s vaccine receives federal approval, Palm said Wisconsin expects to receive 100,000 doses.
The first people to get the shots are the state’s 400,000 health care workers — which includes EMTs, home care workers and nursing home staff members — and the 57,000 residents at long-term care facilities.
“How fast we get through those 450-460,000 people — it really matters how much we get on a weekly basis here into the state of Wisconsin to push out to those populations,” Palm said.
She said the problem is the state doesn’t know how many doses it will get at a time.
“We don’t get very good visibility on that. We have short notice about what’s coming next and how much that is on a weekly basis. We anticipate it’ll be different every week,” Palm said.
State leaders said they’re aware families want to know when it’s their turn.
“It will be months before a vaccine is widely available, so please continue to stay home as much as possible,” Palm said.
Stephanie Schauer, immunization program manager for the Division of Public Health, said once it’s finally the general public’s turn, the state may open up community vaccination sites similar to those in place for testing.
“As we move further into Phases 2 and 3 where we move into where the general population is eligible, the opportunities for where people can get vaccinated will look similarly to influenza,” Schauer said.
Beginning the week of Dec. 28, pharmacies will start offering on-site shots at long term care facilities. The program is part of a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and large pharmacy chains. State health leaders had to give two weeks notice to the CDC before the program could begin, and Palm said they gave that notice on Monday, Dec. 14.