Gov. Evers, DHS call on federal government for additional COVID-19 vaccine doses

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine(Associated Press)
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 5:19 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services are calling on the federal government to increase the amount of COVID-19 vaccine doses in the state’s weekly allocations, according to a release issued Monday.

The Governor said that while the state’s vaccine allocation has varied weekly, this week marks the first time Wisconsin’s demand will exceed supply. The state reportedly needs more than 10,000 additional doses to fulfill requests from vaccinating entites accross the state.

“Our vaccine team is working across the state on vaccine distribution, and so many Wisconsinites are ready to get vaccinated and get back to our Wisconsin way of life,” said Gov. Evers. “In a state where our statewide mitigation strategies have been struck down and challenged time and time again, it is absolutely critical that Wisconsin get additional doses of vaccine to meet demand and box in the virus.”

The sate has built up 1,098 vaccine provider locations in nearly three weeks in an effort to finish phase 1A and begin vaccinating more people, Gov. Evers said. There are an estimated 550,000 Wisconsinites who qualify under Phase 1A and millions more Wisconsinites that will need the vaccine in later phases.

According to the release, the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee proposed populations for Phase 1B will be released for public comment starting Wednesday, with many health systems beginning to vaccinate unaffiliated healthcare providers such as dentists, Emergency Medical Responders and public health workers who are eligible in 1A.

In a separate release issued Monday Wisconsin Congressman Brian Steil (WI-01) said Gov. Ever’s vaccination plan “display[s] a stunning lack of urgency in getting people the life-saving help they need.”

Steil’s comment comes as Gov. Ever’s responded to the congressman’s inquiries about the state’s vaccination plan. Steil went on to suggest the governor should “step aside and let somone who can lead this effort do it” as “recent data and reporting shows Wisconsin is behind most states and the District of Columbia in administering COVID-19 vaccines to people on a per capita basis.”

The Governor says he has repeatedly asked the federal government for additional vaccine, including a letter sent by a coalition of Midwest governors on Jan. 8. Additionally, the Governor says DHS officials have repeatedly asked Operation Warp Speed for additional doses and better forecasting of weekly allocations to be able to plan and project.

“We started with frontline healthcare workers and our most vulnerable since they have been on the frontlines of this pandemic,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “We are eager to open up eligibility to more Wisconsinites but need the federal government in order to do that. We stand ready to vaccinate more and more folks every week but we need more vaccine.”

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