Graham Kilmer

State Passes 1 Million Vaccine Doses

More than 4% of the state's population have completed the two-dose vaccination program.

By - Feb 17th, 2021 06:46 pm
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.

In the past week, 4.5% of Wisconsin’s population completed their vaccination for COVID-19, and more than 1 million doses have been administered since the state started vaccinating in January.

The current rate of vaccination in the state has led it to finish vaccinating approximately 1% of the population each week for the past three weeks.

The amount of vaccine allocated and delivered to the state has been slowly growing. Last week, Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary for the Department of Health Services, said the federal government recently increased the weekly shipment of doses to the state to nearly 89,000.

As of Thursday, 1,023,576 doses have been administered in the state. More than 263,000 of those doses were second time doses.

State and local officials have repeatedly stated, for more than a month now, that the biggest barrier to increasing the rate of vaccination is supply. 

The federal government announced last week that it had placed orders for an additional 200 million doses of vaccine and that it had negotiated an earlier shipment of 100 million doses of vaccine. This, President Joe Biden said, would speed up the timeline for vaccinating the general public.

In the City of Milwaukee, the health department plans to vaccinate more than 5,000 residents this week, Interim Health Commissioner Marlaina Jackson said during a media briefing Tuesday.

The federal government started allocating doses to the state on a three-week rolling basis, allowing the state to take orders from vaccinators for more than a week at a time. This, Jackson said, means the health department can now schedule vaccine appointments for two weeks as opposed to one. “And that’s really great because it allows us to do more long term planning as it relates to getting individuals vaccinated,” she said.

The city has not released the final details on a mobile vaccination program it is planning. But it will partner with clinics and other organizations in neighborhoods around the city to bring the vaccination process into communities in order to distribute the vaccine more equitably.

The state recently started releasing data on the racial and ethnic makeup of who is receiving the vaccine statewide. It showed disparities in the current distribution of the vaccine, with white residents so far receiving the majority of shots.

On Monday the state announced it was putting $6.5 million into making the vaccine rollout more equitable with a communication campaign and direct funding for vaccinators and partners working in communities that are currently being vaccinated at a lower rate.

While the state and federal government continue to ramp up vaccination, new COVID-19 variants are causing concern. Early studies show one variant, originally discovered in the United Kingdom, to be approximately 50% more transmissible than earlier strains of the virus. Public health officials are predicting this new variant, which has been found in Milwaukee, could lead to another spike in disease. The question also remains as to what effect, if any, the variants will have on the efficacy of the current vaccines.

If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.

More about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here

Categories: Health

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us