Temporary staff aid Jefferson, Green Co. in vaccine rollout

Additional employees are helping keep pace with growing number of people eligible for the shot.
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 3:56 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2021 at 6:22 PM CST
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Wis. (WMTV) - In the past few months, smaller counties have expanded their health departments to mitigate COVID-19 efforts.

Jefferson County Health Department added an additional 21 temporary staff members to assist the 14 employees working for the health department.

“We hired a number of staff on a temporary basis to help with the pandemic effort,” says Samroz Jakvani, an epidemiologist with Jefferson County. “It’s an all hands-on desk situation.”

He says many of these staff members were hired to help with contact tracing and testing. Now, some of them are moving to aid in the vaccination roll-out.

Jakvani says the health department also is keeping a robust list of volunteers who could step in to vaccinate in the coming weeks.

“As we look to potentially scale up our clinics, hold them more frequently or perhaps to hold multiple clinics, we will certainly need more volunteers and more help,” said Jakvani.

In Green County, the health department added four limited term employees to round out the 9 permanent staff members. There are also additional personnel working solely on testing.

“We’re a pretty small department,” said Bridget Craker, the Green County Public Health educator. “We’re kind of taking it day-by-day just like everyone.”

She says any extra hands can make a big difference.

“That has been really important in our efforts to be able to keep up with really important public health practices,” said Craker.

Both departments are preparing for Monday when the vaccinations begin for people ages 65 and older.

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