Evers makes plea for Wisconsin to be among first states to get COVID-19 vaccine

NOW: Evers makes plea for Wisconsin to be among first states to get COVID-19 vaccine

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- With Wisconsin in the hot seat for high COVID-19 cases, Gov. Tony Evers is asking for help. He's hoping for more money to help vaccine preparation and distribution. 

Gov. Evers says it's a critical time in Wisconsin and our state should get the first shipment of the vaccine. 

“I sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human resources requesting Wisconsin be prioritized for the first vaccine shipment and in quantities large enough to vaccinate all 450,000 members of our healthcare work force," said Evers. 

It’s a tier system, so front-line healthcare workers will get the dosage first and then others who are at a high-risk.

“We do anticipate should one or both of the applications be approved that we will receive a small allocation of doses before the end of the year .” Andrea Palm, Secretary-Designee, Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). 

State officials say they are still ironing out a timeline for when all healthcare workers will get the vaccine.

“It’s entirely depended for starters on when you can first put vaccines in arms based on when an application is approved and the vaccine arrives in Wisconsin.” Palm said.

State health officials say despite the demand for dosages, the state of Wisconsin must have money to fund programs for vaccine groundwork.

"At a minimum to continue our response for just the first quarter of 2021, we will need an additional $466 million dollars, that estimation, that estimation includes $10 million for vaccine infrastructure readiness and $2 million dollars for public health awareness and vaccine educational programs.” Evers said. “We've got a lot of work to do and we need a lot of resources and support to be able to do it.” 

State officials say they don't expect the vaccine will be approved for children. More clinical testing must be done.  

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