Wisconsin COVID-19 vaccinations are approaching 200, more in store

Nearly 200 health workers in Wisconsin had received the COVID-19 vaccination since Wednesday, a number that is expected to grow rapidly in the coming days as the state receives more shipments of the vaccine that are considered critical to help turn the tide of the pandemic . .

Secretary of Health Department Andrea Palm, who reported vaccination totals, also said no spike in coronavirus cases was reported after Thanksgiving weekend, but she urged people to stay vigilant as Christmas and New Year approaches.

Respiratory therapist Tina Schubert became the first of UW Health’s healthcare heroes to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at approx. 2:30 p.m. CT (Credit: UW Health / John Maniaci)

“We feel pretty good about where our numbers are after Thanksgiving, realizing that as a blanket proposition we are still way too high,” Palm said. “Our hospitals are still overloaded, they still have significant staff shortages, we are still seeing too many deaths.”

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The number of cases in Wisconsin rose in mid-November and has been declining ever since. The state added 2,402 more positive cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to nearly 445,000 so far. There were also 74 more deaths, bringing the state’s pandemic death toll to 4196.

The number of deaths in Wisconsin is the 23rd highest in the country overall and the 31st highest per capita, with 76 deaths per 100,000 people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

In the past two weeks, the moving average number of daily new cases in Wisconsin has decreased by 370, a decrease of 8.7%. According to Johns Hopkins, the number of new cases per capita in Wisconsin in the past two weeks is the 22nd highest rate in the country. Wisconsin in November ranked as high as fourth nationally in new cases per capita.

While the numbers are heading in the right direction and the vaccine is slowly being given to health professionals, Palm stressed that people should still wear masks, keep their distance, wash their hands often and avoid meetings.

“We have to protect our primary health workers,” she said.

Health professionals at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center receive the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Milwaukee.

The state’s first round of vaccinations goes to health workers and nursing home residents – 450,000 people in Phase 1a. Those in long-term care facilities will receive the Moderna vaccine on December 28.

“Because it does not require ultra-cold storage, distribution from Moderna can go straight to vaccinations,” said Palm.

Wisconsin received its first shipment of about 10,000 Pfizer vaccines at two regional hubs on Monday. On Tuesday, four other hubs received 22,000 doses and on Wednesday an additional 18,000 doses arrived at two more hubs, Palm said.

As of Wednesday, the state’s immunization registry showed that 192 people had received the vaccine, Palm said. Information on how many people have been vaccinated will eventually also be reported on the State Department of Health Services website, she said.

Boxes of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared for shipment to the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo plant in Portage, Michigan. (Photo by Morry Gash – Pool / Getty Images)

The state doesn’t know yet how much more of the Pfizer vaccine will get next week, Palm said. The state expects to ship about 100,000 doses of vaccine made by Moderna next week.

Going forward, officials expect a shipment of each vaccine on a weekly basis – although they insist they will eventually be turned over to the federal government.

“How long it takes to get through Phase 1a depends on our weekly vaccination allocation,” Palm said. “We don’t get a very good idea of ​​that. We have a short time to know what is to come.”