In an effort to address the many questions fielded by the Marathon County Health Department about COVID-19 vaccinations, Marathon County Health Department Public Information Officer Judy Burrows offers this:
We are currently in Phase 1A of the vaccination roll out. Vaccine is prioritized for health care workers and long term care residents and staff. We will be in Phase 1A until the majority of people in this category get their vaccine. The health care systems in our area have been vaccinating their staff for the past 2 + weeks. Patience is needed in these early stages.
Health care workers who are not affiliated with or employed by the large health systems can now register to receive vaccine. Directions on how to do this are on the health department’s website: Vaccine Information (marathon.wi.us). The site is frequently updated with new information about vaccination.
Health care systems in our area (Ascension, Aspirus, Bridge Community Health Clinic and Marshfield Health System) have been working hard to provide vaccination to as many in Phase 1A people as they can.
Wisconsin is scaling up vaccination efforts. In mid-December there were 108 agencies registered to give vaccine in Wisconsin. Now there are more than 1,000. Agencies are adjusting their normal services to be able to provide vaccination. Currently, demand for vaccine exceeds supply.
It is estimated that we are still weeks away from entering Phase 1B. We are waiting on more guidance from DHS when we will enter phase 1B and who will be included in this category. Phase 1B includes “Essential Workers”. The DHS Vaccine Distribution Subcommittee of the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC) will define what an essential worker is. Agencies providing vaccinations are expected to follow the DHS guidelines.
Phase 1C will include adults older than 65 or individuals with underlying health conditions. It is estimated we will not enter this phase until spring or early summer.
How will I know it is my turn to get the vaccine?
You will become aware of vaccination efforts through your local media sources, on the health department’s website and also on the health department’s social media pages.
How does vaccine get here?
Once per week, Wisconsin DHS asks agencies who are registered as vaccinators how much vaccine they can use. Every week DHS uses that information to place orders for vaccine from the federal government. The federal government decides how to distribute vaccine among all of the states and ships the vaccine. DHS makes decisions about how to distribute its allocation in Wisconsin. Health care agencies who are registered vaccinators are providing vaccinations based on the phases created by the CDC and DHS. This is a complex system involving many, many public and private systems. Currently, demand for vaccine exceeds supply.
Source: Marathon County Health Department