As Wisconsin waits for COVID-19 vaccine, health leaders answer questions on timeline, side effect

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- With high numbers of Coronavirus cases in Wisconsin – the push is on to get a vaccine here fast.

But state health leaders say it all depends on the FDA approval process.

If all goes as planned, they say a vaccine could be distributed as early as this month.

And as they prepare, they are asking the public to do the same and be patient.

“It will take a number of months to provide vaccines to everyone in Wisconsin," Wisconsin Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said.

State health leaders say they are expecting nearly 50,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in December.

"In the meantime, we all need to continue preventive measures like staying home, wearing a mask, physical distancing, and washing your hands frequently," she added.

Once the FDA gives its approval, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will go to clinics across the state.

They’ll be distributed in two doses.

“The way the CDC is doing it is that they are giving us allocation one and they will keep back the amount for dose two. So they will have another 49,725 doses ready for us," Dr. Stephanie Schauer, division of public health immunization program manager said.

Schauer said Wisconsin will get the Pfizer vaccine first.

As for possible side effects, she added that newer technology was used to make these vaccines.

“It isn’t a live vaccine, nor inactivated. It actually contains just a small part of the spike of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus, and then that is used to generate an immune response," she added.

Once distributed, leaders say the plan is to give first priority to healthcare workers and those living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

As for which vaccine you should eventually take, health leaders say both are similar in nature and taking one is better than none at all.

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