Wednesday, January 20, 2021

So who's getting the shot? More Sconnies can, but the shots need to be there

As of tomorrow, the State of Wisconsin will likely allow a lot more state residents to get their COVID shots.
A subcommittee for the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee last week had proposed adding 1.1 million people to the next wave of vaccines, called 1b, including those over 70, inmates, corrections staff, inmates and those in other congregate living facilities, people living in shelters, teachers and daycare workers, police and firefighters and mink farmers.

On Tuesday the subcommittee lowered the age limit to 65, for a total of 700,000 seniors, the demographic that has overwhelmingly seen the greatest number of deaths. And on Wednesday the subcommittee added 40,000 to 50,000 disabled adults and senior care beneficiaries, and 138,000 essential workers, including 911 operators, utility employees, public transit workers and food chain employees, which include grocery store workers.
These groups of people will be added to nursing home residents, the staff at the nursing homes, and frontline health care workers. And those people in group 1a are dealing with their own holdups.

And the problems with the CVS/Walgreens program isn't the only reason that Wisconsinites will still be waiting a while to get vaccinated, even with more people being able to get the shot. That's because there are significant supply constraints on how many doses of the vaccine will be available in Wisconsin.
The expansion of those eligible to receive vaccines doesn’t mean shots will be available for those groups anytime soon because the state is expecting only about 70,000 new doses of vaccine per week.

But officials say that as the vaccinations of medical workers and nursing home residents winds down, the expanded pool of vaccine recipients will allow flexibility to the state’s approximately 1,200 vaccinators to use available doses.

Eventually, health officials say the number of doses will ramp up, but two to three times the current allotment would be needed to open the state to mass vaccination, deputy DHS Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said Tuesday.
And reports indicate we'll have to wait until May or June before that happens. Which means that middle-aged, normal health guys like me are several months away from getting our shots, barring some huge ramp up in production and improved distribution.

However, it looks like the WisGOP Legislature has a plan to get people like me vaccinated sooner than that. At Warp Speed, if you will.
Everyone would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by mid-March regardless of how much vaccine is available, under a bill heard by the Assembly Health Committee on Wednesday.

The state is taking a “lackadaisical” approach to vaccinating people, bill sponsor and committee chairman Rep. Joe Sanfelippo said at a hearing on the measure Wednesday. The bill would speed the vaccine rollout and another proposal would expand those who can deliver the shots.

“We want to safely administer as many vaccines to as many people as quickly as possible," Sanfelippo said.
This is where I tell you that Joe Sanfelippo has a Scott Walker level of education ("attended", but did not graduate from, Marquette), and his expertise in medicine comes from.... owning a landswcaping company and a Christmas tree farm.

Medical logistics, that's my game!

Needless to say, the people who actually know something about medicine and vaccinations said that this wouldn't work out.
The Wisconsin Public Health Association and the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards issued identical written comments raising concerns about the supply of vaccine coming to the state.

“We appreciate the bill’s intent to make sure the vaccine is utilized as quickly as possible,” the groups said. “However, we believe the source of the issue is a lack of vaccine supply. Once supply is sufficient, the challenge will be enough workforce to administer.”
At least we now have a president who will try to get things out quickly and efficiently, and utilize the power of the Federal Government to give sufficient dosages for everywhere, unlike the last guy.

But having dumb state legislators trying to put in place idiotic rules and mandates in order to have AM radio talking points is clearly going to be a problem in getting this done well or quickly in Wisconsin. It's bad enough that months of bad GOP (non) leadership in DC is making vaccination go slower and be more confusing than it should be. Having these arrogant, gerrymandered clowns trying to play doctor and dealer is a real problem that Evers will need to overcome.

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