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VACCINE TEAM Q&A: DHS’s allocation model & including kids in the data

Q&A breaking down how state health officials prioritize limited vaccine doses in Wisconsin, plus why kids are included in vaccine progress data.
Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 7:12 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The NBC15 Vaccine Team is getting answers to questions about DHS’s allocation model and why children are included in the state’s overall data. The Vaccine Team took those questions to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Here’s what Elizabeth Goodsitt, DHS Communications Specialist had to say:

QUESTION: With more than 500 vaccine providers across Wisconsin, is there a formula that determines how many vaccine doses each health care provider receives?

DHS uses an allocation model to prioritize and allocate vaccine to providers based on how much is requested. The model includes the following parameters:

  • Dedicate supply for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), free clinics, tribes, and providers who primarily vaccinate under-served populations.
  • Establish baseline minimums for local and tribal health departments, vaccine providers serving long-term care populations, and strategically placed high-throughput clinics.
  • Weight requests using the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) based upon the counties in which vaccine is distributed.
  • Use county population as a guardrail to ensure that allocations are not significantly disproportional to population.
  • Allow additional weighting for vaccine providers in counties with historical gaps in allocations due to limited provider enrollments and logistical constraints early on.
QUESTION: Since the vaccine is not approved for children (at this time), why does DHS include kids in Wisconsin’s total population to get the vaccine?

Those percentages are calculated using the full population, because vaccination coverage determines how well a community is protected against a disease – in this case, COVID-19. Since children are still susceptible to illness from COVID-19, we count them when considering vaccination coverage. DHS does not have plans to offer this data in the context of the number of people who are eligible to be vaccinated.

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