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Healthcare workers try to vaccinate as many as possible

Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 5:15 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out, many who are eligible are facing roadblocks to obtaining the vaccine. What they don’t see is the roadblocks medical facilities face in getting the doses. Even large operations like Marshfield Clinic have to fill our weekly questionnaires justifying their requests.

“The vaccine plan just kind of says, okay so if we give you the vaccines you’re asking for, what do you plan to do with them? Do you plan to vaccinate any long-term health care workers, or do you plan to just do your employees, or do you plan to do other external healthcare workers? And so they do ask those questions on the survey,” said Marshfield RN Penny Funk.

Even with the strict scrutiny by the state, Funk says they only receive about a quarter of what they request.

“Then we usually don’t find out our allocation until late Friday, sometimes Saturday. So we’ve had some meetings over the weekend to try to determine what our plan of action is for the next week and usually it is boots on the ground Monday morning to get things off and running so that we can prepare to start vaccinating as soon as we receive those vaccines,” she said.

Some front-line workers like medical staff and law enforcement have not yet received the vaccine, or have changed their mind to get it.

They are addressed first, and then the general public, funk says.

But that line is getting shorter and hundreds of seniors are already being vaccinated each week by Marshfield.

Funk said the state of Wisconsin just started allocating vaccines two weeks in advance. “They are trying to do it in two-week increments to give facilities more time to plan,” she said.

Funk also says that the public should take into consideration that the United States is not alone in taking stores of the vaccine.

“The pharmaceutical companies, they are not just working for the United States. They are trying to stop this pandemic globally.

Funk says she knows people are getting tired of all the disruption of the past year.

She says if we remain patient and keep up healthy practices, for now, the vaccine will get us to herd immunity in time.

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