Wisconsin to receive first shipment of Moderna vaccine this week

NOW: Wisconsin to receive first shipment of Moderna vaccine this week

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Governor Tony Evers announced Monday, Dec. 21, that Wisconsin is expecting shipments of the Moderna vaccine to begin arriving at hospitals and clinics across the state this week.

The initial shipment is expected to be 16,000 doses, according to the governor's office, with state health officials planning to receive a total of 100,000 doses in the upcoming weeks.

Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine can be stored in normal freezers, allowing the vaccine to be shipped directly to vaccinating entities across Wisconsin.

“Folks, this is exciting news. The COVID-19 vaccine is an important tool we need to battle this pandemic,” said Gov. Evers. “While we do not have control over how much vaccine the federal government allocates to our state, I can promise that we are doing everything we can to ensure that our distribution is fair and equitable.”

“In terms of the Moderna vaccine, I have not heard confirmation that it has arrived in the state yet today, but I anticipate if it has that those receiving it are going to be eager to start giving vaccines,” says Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk of Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

During the first week, there have been more than 10,000 vaccines that have been administered in the state.

In order for everyone in Wisconsin to receive a 2-dose vaccine, required by both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the state needs 11.6 million doses.

The federal government is helping states by making sure they have the right amount of a second dose.

“Every initial dose they send to us, there is a second dose held back that will be ready to send,” says Willems Van Dijk.

The governor's office says Evers and DHS activated the federal government's long-term care pharmacy distribution program to provide on-site vaccination for Wisconsin’s long-term care residents and staff. A portion, 29,000 doses, of the Moderna allocation will be reserved in order to begin vaccinating Wisconsinites in this program. The program is set to begin on Dec. 28.

“We’re always going to be looking ahead to the next phase and within our state we’ll be making more decisions about the specificity of who is in those front-line worker groups,” says Willems Van Dijk.

Next week, DHS says they plan on having an updated dashboard available with public information about the vaccine. It will be similar to what they currently do with case numbers.

“I know that many people are wanting to get vaccinated and we are asking everyone to be patient,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “As we continue to make progress vaccinating our health care workers and long-term care residents, we will need the federal government to increase our supply so we can efficiently expand our efforts to include additional populations. As we vaccinate more Wisconsinites, we must all continue practicing the preventive measures we know work. Please stay home, wear a mask, and keep physical distance from others.”

For up-to-date information on the COVID-19 vaccine, click here

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