Local Vaccine Rollout Underway

Weekly allocations of the Moderna vaccine are rolling into Door County Medical Center (DCMC), where frontline health care workers are well on their way to being immunized against COVID-19. 

“At this time, every employee at DCMC who wants the vaccine has had the opportunity to receive it,” said Dr. Jim Heise, DCMC chief medical officer. “For those that haven’t as yet, we continue to have vaccine clinics where they can get it.”

All nursing home residents and 50 percent of long-term-care facility staff members have been vaccinated, with inoculation of the remaining staff members continuing, Heise said.

The health care workers and long-term-care facility residents and staff are part of the Phase 1A vaccine prioritization group as defined by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). The DHS reported on its website that it does not have enough vaccine supply for everyone in Wisconsin at this time. Until those supplies increase, the vaccine prioritization guidelines are being followed. 

Up next in Door County – and also part of the Phase 1A group – are paramedics, firefighters and other community health care providers such as dentists and optometrists, Heise said. After that, Group 1B people will be inoculated, though that group has not yet been completely defined for Wisconsin, according to Heise and Sue Powers, Door County Public Health manager/officer.

Door County Medical Center RN Jill Austad holds up a dose of the Moderna vaccine that’s being given to frontline health care workers at Door County Medical Center. Submitted.

“CDC does have a definition, but we will get more specific direction from the state,” Powers said.

DHS anticipates that Phase 1B may include people aged 75 and older, as well as non-health care frontline essential workers. Phase 1C may include those aged 65-74, people aged 16-64 with high-risk conditions, and essential workers who were not included in Phase 1B.

Public Health is collaborating with DCMC to vaccinate the first group and is helping to ensure that all who fall into the category have the opportunity to receive the vaccinations. Those who have not connected with Public Health and believe they may fit into the Phase 1A category should email [email protected].

Neither DCMC nor Door County Public Health is making  appointments for public vaccinations at this time. Although all parties said public anticipation for the vaccine is high, they also stressed that patience is required. 

“We continue to be hopeful that the vaccine will be broadly available by late February into early March,” Heise said. “It’s too soon to give a more precise estimate.”

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