Wisconsin Nursing Home Workers Among First For COVID-19 Vaccine
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on November 19, 2020 in Personal Injury
One of the first COVID-19 vaccines may soon be available in Wisconsin. When it becomes available, nursing home caregivers and other frontline workers are slated to be among the first to receive it. Officials at the Department of Health Services (DHS) announced that distribution of the vaccine may begin before the end of this year.
In addition to administering the vaccine to those on the frontline, such as healthcare workers, support staff and long-term care workers, early receivers of the vaccine will also include nursing home residents.
If rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine goes forward as hoped, the state also plans to administer the vaccine to other focused groups, such as those with underlying health issues and individuals over the age of 65. The vaccine is not expected to reach the general public, however, until later in 2021.
In the full article from PBS Wisconsin News, officials reported that there are several complications and challenges involved with the rollout of this two-dose vaccine. To begin with, Pfizer’s vaccine must be transported and stored at -70 degrees Celsius or below. These requirements could prove challenging for distributing it in Wisconsin’s more rural areas. Plans are underway to locate usable freezers, and dry-ice manufacturers are also working closely with state officials.
DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said, “To be candid, this COVID-19 vaccination planning and dissemination is even more complicated than we had ever imagined; it will be the most extraordinary public health intervention our state has ever undertaken.”
Federal Drug Administration Emergency Authorization Still Pending
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) will conduct independent testing to assess both the safety and efficacy of any COVID-19 vaccines prior to the release of the vaccine. This includes both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, both which report an effectiveness rate at or above 90 percent.
According to Van Dijk, the first doses could arrive in Wisconsin before the end of this year.
Costs for Administering the Vaccine
Employers of frontline workers, such as hospitals, will coordinate their own efforts to administer the vaccine to their workers, likely making use of their own medical clinics and other community and state-based clinic sites.
Others, such as the general public, should be able to receive the vaccine at local pharmacies, such as Walgreens and CVS. The vaccine will be provided completely free of charge. To accomplish this, the state is seeking additional funding from the federal government. This request is in addition to the $3.1 million they have already received to help cover the costs of supplies and personnel needed to cope with the pandemic.
Once it is available to the general public, the goal is to achieve “viable herd immunity” by reaching as close to 100 percent of the population with the vaccine.
Health officials encourage everyone, even after getting the vaccine, to continue to take other precautions, such as social distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing a protective mask. Additionally, officials also recommend getting this year’s flu shot.
Our Firm is Providing Legal Help Throughout the COVID-19 Crisis
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