Medical leaders work to make sure all priority health care professionals get COVID-19 vaccine

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Health care professionals are in the first tier of eligible groups to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

State medical leaders note that there are many jobs under this umbrella.

“So 1A gets you into you have an exposure to patients and or infectious materials, then how do you distinguish within 1A when you have a scarce vaccine quantity," UW Health Dr. Matt Anderson said.

Some organizations within the first tier applied to be vaccinators themselves.

But experts say smaller groups, like EMS or dentist offices, may not have the storage or staff capabilities.

“And I think we don’t even know right now, how many vaccines does each particular group going to have available and then who’s going to vaccinate those who aren’t 1A vaccine organizations," added Anderson.

Health experts are making guidelines to be sure all groups are prioritized.

“There could be some discomfort because it necessarily may lead to a hierarchy," Dr. Azita Hamedani, UW Health chair of emergency medicine, said during a virtual meeting of the vaccine subcommittee of the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee.

Subcommittee members suggest using the health care worker's background.

This means considering age, race, socioeconomic status and health conditions.

“The bottom line is we wanted to provide as much flexibility for vaccine entities as we could to provide vaccine with some basic ground rules and some weighing considerations," said Dr. Jonathan Temte, associate dean at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine.

Long-term care facilities are also in the COVID-19 vaccine priority group.


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