Community Update Phase 1 COVID-19 Vaccine Availability: What Community Residents Need to Know…
FROM THE LANGLADE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
We continue in Phase 1a of the COVID-19 vaccination roll out. This vaccine is prioritized for health care workers and long-term care residents and staff. We will continue in Phase 1a until the majority of persons in this category get their vaccine. The health care systems in our area have been vaccinating their staff, and pharmacies have been vaccinating staff and residents in skilled nursing homes, with plans to expand to other long-term care staff and residents in the next few weeks. We have reached out to health care workers who are not affiliated with a healthcare system and are ensuring that they are linked to a vaccine provider.
We are awaiting more guidance from WI Department of Health Services (DHS) on when we will enter Phase 1b, and who will be included in this phase. Currently, Phase 1b includes “essential workers” and those over age 75. The DHS Vaccine Distribution Subcommittee of the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC) will define who an essential worker is, prioritize which workers will receive the vaccine in the initial Phase 1b rollout, and provide further age-related guidance.
Phase 1c will begin as soon as the state of WI determines that we have made adequate progress on the preceding phases. Phase 1c is anticipated to include adults ages 65-74 and individuals aged 18-64 with underlying health conditions
Agencies providing vaccinations are expected to follow the DHS guidelines.
Why is it taking so long? All vaccinators need to have a comprehensive vaccination plan in place. It is estimated that it will take 4-6 weeks per phase. Vaccine efforts rest on 3 equally important tiers: Adequate Demand, Adequate Delivery System and Adequate Supply. The Federal Government decides how much vaccine each state receives. Once per week, WI DHS asks registered vaccinators how much vaccine they can use for the following week, and then makes decisions on how to allocate it. In mid-December there were 108 agencies registered to give vaccine in WI. There are now over 1000. Currently, demand for vaccine exceeds supply.
How will I know when I become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine? We will continue to provide updates through local media sources, our web site and through social media on the Phase rollout, and where you can access the vaccine.
For the latest information, visit the CDC – Coronavirus Disease , the Wisconsin Department of Health Services or the Langlade County Health Department- COVID webpage or follow us on Facebook.