Gov. Evers, DHS call on federal government to distribute more COVID-19 vaccine

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) on Monday, Jan. 11, are calling on the federal government to increase the amount of COVID-19 vaccine doses in the state’s weekly allocations. In just nearly three weeks of vaccine allocation and distribution, Wisconsin built up 1,098 vaccine provider locations that stand ready to give vaccinations throughout the state in order to finish Phase 1A and begin vaccinating more Wisconsinites.

“Our vaccine team is working across the state on vaccine distribution, and so many Wisconsinites are ready to get vaccinated and get back to our Wisconsin way of life,” said Gov. Evers. “In a state where our statewide mitigation strategies have been struck down and challenged time and time again, it is absolutely critical that Wisconsin get additional doses of vaccine to meet demand and box in the virus.”

This week, Wisconsin needs more than 10,000 additional doses to fulfill requests from vaccinating entities across the state. Wisconsin’s allocation has varied weekly, however, this week marks the first time Wisconsin’s demand will exceed our supply. There are an estimated 550,000 Wisconsinites who qualify under Phase 1A and millions more Wisconsinites that will need the vaccine in later phases. The State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC) proposed populations for Phase 1B will be released for public comment starting Wednesday. Many health systems have worked through a portion of their staff and have begun vaccinating unaffiliated healthcare providers such as dentists, Emergency Medical Responders, and public health workers who are eligible in 1A.

The governor has repeatedly asked the federal government for additional vaccine, including a letter sent by a coalition of Midwest governors last week. Additionally, DHS officials have repeatedly asked Operation Warp Speed for additional doses and better forecasting of weekly allocations to be able to plan and project.

“We started with frontline healthcare workers and our most vulnerable since they have been on the frontlines of this pandemic,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “We are eager to open up eligibility to more Wisconsinites but need the federal government in order to do that. We stand ready to vaccinate more and more folks every week but we need more vaccine.”

So far Wisconsin has administered 151,502 doses of vaccine throughout the state of Wisconsin. Following recommendations from the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the SDMAC, Wisconsin prioritized frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable residents in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

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