Wisconsin National Guard troops assisting with COVID-19 vaccine distribution

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Wisconsin National Guard is assisting with the state's first COVID-19 vaccine distribution. 

According to a news release, approximately 20 troops are helping manage vaccine inventory at undisclosed sites across the state.

Those troops are serving in a support role in coordination with other state partners and agencies helping to roll out the vaccine – including the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Wisconsin State Patrol, and others, as the state seeks to vaccinate frontline healthcare workers.

The news release says the National Guard troops represent a small, but critical element of the effort, as they assist in handling the inventory of the initial supply of vaccines and preparing them for delivery to facilities that need them.

“The Soldiers and Airmen of the Wisconsin National Guard continue to step up to do whatever our state asks of them during this pandemic,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general. “We’re proud to assist our partner agencies and our fellow citizens in this small, but critical role to get the vaccine distributed as efficiently as possible.”

The Wisconsin National Guard has played an important role in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, more than 1,600 Wisconsin Guard members have served in a variety of roles. The Wisconsin National Guard has administered nearly one million COVID-19 tests statewide since April. Others staffed a warehouse that managed shipments of personal protective equipment, while some provided medical and administrative support at self-isolation facilities in the early stages of the pandemic, among other missions.

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