Starting Jan. 25, those 65 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced today that residents 65 and older will qualify to receive vaccinations beginning Jan. 25.

The Sawyer County Health Department has been working with local health care providers Essentia, NorthLakes Community Clinic, LCO Community Health Center and Marshfield Clinic to get our residents vaccinated.

Wisconsin receives around 70,000 first-dose vaccines per week from the federal government to be distributed to vaccinators throughout the state. Each vaccination site makes a request to the State for vaccine each week. We are not guaranteed the number of doses we request from the State and we will not know how much of the requested amount of vaccine we will receive until Monday. This does make vaccination planning difficult from week to week for locals so we ask for flexibility and patience as we work through this process.

In the meantime we are all ramping up our vaccination clinics. Due to vaccine availability it will take time to vaccinate everyone. Area clinics will be focused on their highest risk patients. The Health Department will be setting up mass clinics throughout the community which will be available by appointment by calling (715) 638-3438.

Groups eligible for vaccination as of Monday, January 25 include:

1A – frontline health care workers

1A – long-term care residents

1B – police and fire personnel

1B – adults 65 years and older

Public Health is seeking additional staff and volunteers to help support our vaccine clinics as vaccine supply increases.

“We need everyone in our community to come together to get this done,” said Sawyer County Health Care Officer Julia Lyons.

To expand community clinics, help is needed with clerical tasks such as staffing phone lines and assisting registrations. Those with medical training, such as nurses, doctors or EMT training, are also needed to assist with immunizations. Anyone interested in helping should email jlyons@sawyerhs.hayward.wi.us. with the subject line of Vaccine Volunteer.

Vaccinations in Sawyer County began last month with front line health care workers and high risk elders. To date, 950 health care workers and residents in assisted care have received vaccinations. We are confident that we have vaccinated about 90-95 percent of those individuals who fall into the 1A Tier.

On January 18, vaccination of Sawyer County police and fire personnel began.

Consult the "Vaccine Distribution" section on the Sawyer County COVID-19 Response page to check for latest county updates. https://sawyer-county-covid-19-response-sawyergis.hub.arcgis.com

Continue to do your part to keep yourself and others safe by following recommended safety measures: minimize your contact with those not in your household and wear masks in public spaces. Masks not only protect the wearer, but protect others from getting the virus from you.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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