Graham Kilmer

Nearly 2% of State Population Vaccinated

Some 570,000 doses administered. Low supplies still constricting vaccinations.

By - Feb 3rd, 2021 09:10 am
Dr. Ben Weston receives second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Photo courtesy of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Dr. Ben Weston receives second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Photo courtesy of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

More than 100,000 people have completed the vaccination process for COVID-19 in Wisconsin, getting both the first shot and the booster.

This represents nearly 2% of the state population. Despite this early milestone, the supply of vaccine continues to constrict the state’s ability to increase the pace and expand the pool of vaccination. “We need vaccine and we need a lot more,” Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary for the Department of Health Services, said during a media briefing Tuesday.

Last week, vaccinators across the state requested nearly 300,000 doses of vaccine when the state had only 77,760 doses to give out, which translates to about 26% of the total requested vaccine.

In total, more than 570,000 doses have been administered in the state. That number includes the second doses. Approximately 470,000 people, or 8% of the state’s population have received at least one dose.

Over the past week, there were more than 200,000 doses administered in the state. This level of vaccination is in part due to the increasing number of people receiving their second dose. The allotment of vaccine from the federal government has remained at approximately 70,000 doses a week.

But next week the state is expecting its vaccine allocation to increase by 12,000 doses, most of it Moderna vaccine, which is easier to store and transport than the Pfizer vaccine.

Vaccination of residents 65 and older has greatly increased since that group was made eligible. So far, more than 193,000 people, or approximately 22% of that group, has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The next phase of vaccination is still tentatively scheduled to begin March 1st, Willems Van Dijk said. But nothing is certain. The state continues to look at their supply, she said, and will know better whether that is a realistic start date by mid-February.

In the City of Milwaukee, vaccination of residents 65 and older began this week. Interim Health Commissioner Marlaina Jackson said the city vaccinated approximately 600 individuals in this age group yesterday. The Milwaukee Health Department has been administering COVID-19 vaccine for 17 days and has vaccinated nearly 40,000 people.

The Wisconsin Center, at 555 W. Wells St., will remain the centralized vaccination site for the health department. But Jackson said the health department plans to go directly to communities as vaccination expands, “whether that means going into work sites, churches, barber shops, whatever that might be.” 

Scheduling a Vaccination Appointment

Getting scheduled for a vaccination has been a source of confusion and consternation for residents.

Both the state and the City of Milwaukee are launching websites intended to simplify the scheduling process.

Milwaukee’s website goes live Wednesday, February 3rd at 2 p.m. At that time, you can go to milwaukee.gov/covidvax. If you don’t have internet access, you can call a hotline (414) 286-6800 to schedule an appointment. You can only schedule an appointment if you are currently eligible for the vaccine.

The state’s planned vaccine appointment portal is being rolled out on a trial-basis on February 15th, State Senator Chris Larson announced Tuesday. It will launch in 10 cities. You will be able to make an appointment on the website if you are eligible. If you are not eligible you can still sign up, but you will be placed on a waitlist.

In the meantime, if you are eligible for a vaccine, it is recommended that you reach out to your local health department or health care provider to schedule a vaccine appointment.

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Categories: Health

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