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COVID-19 Vaccine Phase Update and Vaccination Clinics

Posted 1/15/2021 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us



CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

COVID-19 Vaccine Phase Update and Vaccination Clinics

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI DHS) is currently allocating both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to enrolled and approved vaccine providers. Currently, the demand far exceeds the amount of vaccines distributed each week. It is anticipated more vaccines will become available in coming weeks.

Wood County Health Department is following prioritization guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). Wood County Health Department is currently in Phase 1A of the WI DHS vaccine prioritization guidelines and has not yet moved into Phase 1B or 1C. The definition of Phase 1B is currently under review. Police and fire personnel are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations beginning January 18. Wood County Health Department will continue to update the public as more people become eligible for vaccination. The following outlines the planned rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to the community. 

  • Phase 1A includes health care workers, long term care staff and residents. This includes individuals who provide direct patient service or engage in activities that may place them in contact with infected persons or materials. This includes Emergency Medical Service, dental care providers, chiropractors, therapy services such as physical, occupational, and speech, etc.  
  • Phase 1B includes “Essential Workers”. This definition is yet to be determined, but may include public health & safety, transportation, teachers, childcare providers, communications, financial, food & agriculture, information technology & other critical infrastructure services. In addition, this phase may include those who are 70+ years old. 
  • Phase 1C includes residents 65+ years old and individuals with underlying health conditions. This includes individuals who are considered a higher risk for severe illness based on age and/or health history. 
  • Phase 2 includes the remainder of Phase 1, critical populations, and general population. An announcement will be made when vaccine supplies reach a point that allows providers to begin taking appointments and administering COVID-19 vaccinations to community members. 
  • Phase 3 includes the remainder of Phase 1 critical populations and general population. At this point vaccine distribution will be widespread and will be incorporated into preventative care. 

Wood County Health Department appreciates your ongoing patience as continued planning takes place to ensure all eligible health care providers in Phase 1A have the opportunity to receive the vaccination. It will take time for everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccination to get one. While the vaccine may prevent you from getting sick, it is unknown at this time if you can still carry and transmit the virus to others. Until more is understood about how well the vaccine works, continue with precautions such as mask-wearing, physical distancing and practicing good hand hygiene. 

Wood County Health Department will be moving the COVID-19 vaccination clinic that is currently held at the Riverblock building to the Alexander Field Airport hangar (3620 1st. St. South, Wisc Rapids) beginning January 21. Vaccinations will be administered via drive thru, for eligible recipients, in an effort to increase capacity while maintaining COVID-19 safety precautions. Appointments are required and these clinics are not yet open to the public. If you feel you are in Phase 1A and have not been offered vaccination, please email sluchini@co.wood.wi.us

It is important to remember that current guidelines like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others still apply to those who have been vaccinated. Additionally, quarantine is required after exposure to COVID-19 even if you get the COVID-19 vaccine. More research is needed to learn about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions. 

Testing continues to be a very important part of the COVID-19 response. The State of Wisconsin and Vault Medical Services are now offering a new testing option for everyone who lives in Wisconsin, with or without symptoms, at no cost. The service allows people to collect their own saliva samples for testing in their home. This is a three step process; 1) request an at-home collection, 2) collect your sample, and 3) send in your sample. For more information about at-home collection and to request your collection kit visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/collection.htm.

Please do not call the Wood County Health Department regarding the COVID-19 vaccine process. To stay informed on COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and county-level statistics, please watch for future press releases and visit the Wood County Health Department Facebook page or website. If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211.