Speed of expanded vaccination here depends on available supply, says county health officer

Kenosha County announced some new information Wednesday about COVID-19 vaccination in the wake of new state guidelines announced Tuesday.

From a news release from the Joint Information Center:

With the State of Wisconsin’s announcement Tuesday that all adults 65 and over will be eligible to begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine next week, the Kenosha County Division of Health looks forward to announcing more information about the local distribution of the vaccine as soon as it is available, Health Officer Dr. Jen Freiheit said.

Freiheit said this will include the organization of vaccination clinics, the details of which are currently being established.

While eligibility is being extended to the 65-plus population, the speed with which this group and others will be vaccinated will depend upon the available supply of the vaccine, Freiheit noted.

“Kenosha County is actively planning for this process, although it is important to note that these plans are contingent upon the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines,” Freiheit said. “In the meantime, we urge those frontline health care workers who are part of Group 1a to try to connect with a provider and get vaccinated as soon as possible, as supplies allow.”

Those who are in Group 1a (listed below) and live and/or work in Kenosha County may receive provider information by filling out an online signup form available on the Kenosha County COVID-19 Information Hub website, at http://bit.ly/KCCOVIDHub. Those who sign up will receive information via email once vaccine is available to them.

Group 1a includes:
— Healthcare personnel, including:
— Anesthesia related team members
— Behavior health providers, including psychologists, therapists, counselors
— Certified nursing assistant, nursing assistant, nurse aide, medical assistant
— Chiropractors
— Clinical ethicists
— Dental services, including dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistants
— Direct care personnel, for example, people who provide direct care to patients, including in their homes (for example, personal care assistant, home health worker)
— Emergency medical responders (EMR), including emergency medical
technician/paramedic including all levels of EMRs
— Environmental services, food & nutrition, buildings & grounds in patient care setting

— Health care trainees
— Hospice workers
— Nurses, including community settings
— Long-term care facility staff
— Pharmacists/pharmacist assistants
— Phlebotomists and laboratory personnel
— Physician assistants/nurse practitioners
— Physicians (MD/DO – all settings)
— Public health workers providing vaccines and testing for COVID-19
— Radiation therapy technologists (RTTs)/radiologic technologists (RTs)
— Respiratory therapists
— Security personnel
— Spiritual care providers
— Social work, case management, Child Life staff
— Therapy services, for example, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy
— Transportation services to and from health care settings, for example, testing sites, dialysis centers, ambulatory care
— Other health care personnel who have CDC defined exposure
— Other professionals and lay people who provide services as defined above
— Residents of long-term care facilities
— Firefighters, law enforcement officers and corrections personnel

While the 65-and-over group becomes eligible on Monday, Jan. 25, Phase 1b and 1c groups including those under 65 will be finalized in the coming weeks. The vaccine will be more widely available to the public sometime this spring or summer, pending state and federal guidance and availability.

“We ask for everyone’s patience as we continue through this process,” Freiheit said. “The 65-and-over group represents a large share of our population and it will take time to make the vaccine available to as many of them as possible, but we do know that this is the demographic that is most vulnerable to COVID-19 and it is important to get them vaccinated. I look forward to accomplishing that as quickly as possible and moving us ever closer to our ultimate goal of herd immunity and the end of COVID-19.”

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