Northeast Wisconsin’s assisted living facilities will participate in first round of coronavirus vaccinations

Local News

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) — Two vaccines for the coronavirus are in the works, and local health officials say it’s only a matter of time before a vaccine becomes available locally.

“As soon as there’s an emergency use authorization granted by the FDA, the vaccine that’s available from those companies should start to roll right away,” Doug Gieryn, Winnebago County Health Officer said.

That first wave of vaccinations will be reserved for certain groups.

“Those vaccines are gonna largely go to group health, group housing situations, high risk individuals, and or healthcare providers,” Gieryn said.

That includes residents at area nursing homes, like De Pere’s Angel’s Touch Assisted Living.

“We are currently in partnership with Streus Pharmacy here in De Pere to help provide us with the vaccine,” Delores Mantik, administrator at the facility said.

Residents won’t be the only ones at Angel’s Touch getting the vaccine.

“Staff will be receiving a vaccine, obviously we can’t force anyone to do it, but it’s highly recommended,” Mantik said.

The vaccine won’t immediately return the living facility to its pre-covid state, but officials hope it will help keep residents healthy.

“We can get to them in time, and give them the vaccine, and help them live the rest of their lives relatively healthy,” Mantik said.

As for everyone not expecting to take part in that first round of vaccinations: “We’re going to need to keep going with the masking and distancing for a number of months, we’re not going to have a vaccine for the masses so to speak really until probably the second quarter or summer of next year,” Gieryn said.

The experts say we’ve got a ways to go, but there is something to look forward to.

“I do believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. How long that tunnel is yet, we’re not quite sure,” Mantik said.

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