WATCH: Wisconsin health officials hold COVID-19 vaccine briefing and Q & A


(WFRV) – As the COVID-19 vaccination rolled out on Monday, two state health officials from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Division of Public Health Immunization answered resident’s questions concerning the newly launched vaccine.

On Monday afternoon, Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk and Program Manager for the Division of Public Health Immunization Dr. Stephanie Schauer shared more information pertaining to the vaccine.

The health officials shared that they are still currently in Phase 1 A, which marks the activation of the program with both the CDC and national pharmacy chains including Walgreens and CVS, offering vaccinations within skilled nursing facilities.

Health officials predict Phase 1 A vaccinations within skilled nursing facilities will be underway by the end of January. ‘Soon as we get one group done, it is time to move on to another group,” says Van Dijk.

Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk reported that nearly 10,000 doses have been received as of Monday and over 49,000 are expected to come by Wednesday.

The vaccine will be free of cost to residents regardless of having health insurance status. “Everyone should be able to get the vaccine with no money out of their pocket…We want to make this as easy as possible for the most people to be vaccinated,” explains Dr. Dijk.

Health officials say that the state has no intention of mandating residents to receive the vaccination, which will come in two doses but do hope to soon have available mass vaccination sites.

Officials noted that the safety and efficacy of vaccine is not yet known and residents who take the vaccine are advised to speak with medical doctors.

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