From the Wood County Health Department: Vaccine update and continued testing access
By the Wood County Health Department
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 vaccine distributed each week.
It is anticipated more vaccine will become available in coming weeks enabling more health care providers to receive a vaccine. At this time, it is unclear how much vaccine will be allocated locally and what the timeline of this allocation will be. Wood County Health Department will get the vaccine out as quickly as possible, once received.
The following outlines the planned rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to the community:
Currently, rollout is for those in Phase 1A. 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 and safety, transportation, communications, financial, food & agriculture, information technology and other critical infrastructure services.
Phase 1C includes residents 65 plus 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.
Access to testing continues to be available through support provided by the National Guard with weekly community testing on Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Emergency Management Shop, 555 17th Ave., Wisconsin Rapids. This testing will be available through March.
For a full list of testing dates, visit the Facebook page or website.
To date, 5,612 people in Wood County and 477,292 people in Wisconsin have been confirmed positive with COVID-19, and there have been 45 Wood County deaths contributing to Wisconsin’s total number, 4,818.
For more information, visit www.co.wood.wi.us/Departments/Health/CovidHub.aspx.