State, local leaders say government is urging plan for vaccine distribution

NOW: State, local leaders say government is urging plan for vaccine distribution

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- State and local leaders gave an update on the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, Sept. 3, and spoke on the development of a vaccine and distribution.

State officials say they are being urged by the federal government to start planning and preparing a plan for vaccine distribution.

Both state and local health experts say the amount of COVID-19 tests taken has been down. 

State health officials say a vaccine is a crucial next phase in the fight against COVID-19 and they are starting to work on a plan. 

The state will create a designated team to focus on the distribution plan. 

Wisconsin DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm says as we near the fall, the state will need to get a better understanding from the feds on who gets priority and how to store the vaccines once it becomes available. 

Milwaukee County officials addressed talks surrounding a vaccine coming by Nov. 1, but want people to remember that vaccine production takes time and shouldn't be rushed.

"So we're talking about having a vaccine available right before the election and we know all of us in public health and science know that vaccine production -- that there's a process," said Milwaukee Health Commissioner Dr. Jeanette Kowalik.

"A lot of work to do with the federal government to understand the status of those trials and the data that's coming out of them and the timing and again, how distribution will come to the state," said Palm.

Doctor's on Thursday's call say they would not suggest getting a COVID-19 vaccine until it's proven completely safe. 

In the meantime, Palm suggests people get a flu shot now to help reduce confusion between the flu and COVID-19 this fall.

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