BARRON COUNTY— The Following statement was issued by Laura Sauve, Barron County health officer and public health manager.
Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is here, we understand many people have questions. We know many are anxious to get the vaccine. We ask for patience as we move through this process. Please monitor local news outlets often for the most accurate and up to date information.
The State is taking the lead in distribution of the vaccine. Barron County does not have the authority to decide when to move phases or who to vaccinate in those phases. The State decides when and how we move onto the next phases. We have no timelines. There are still many unknowns in the process as we wait to hear more from the State. Public Health communicates any changes to those who need it as soon as possible after receiving the information from the State. We will continue to keep the community up to date as things change.
As of today, January 14, we have been told that we will move into the first part of phase 1B on January 18, which will include Police and Fire only. This means at this time, the vaccine will only be offered to Police and Fire personnel in that phase. We will let the public know as soon as we hear that we are able to move onto any other groups included in phase 1B.
When we receive information from the State on the vaccine, it will be sent to all local newspapers and radio stations as well as many online news sources. We will also post to the Barron County Public Health Facebook page and the Barron County website (www.barroncountywi.gov). When essential workers are ready to be vaccinated, we will also share information with employers. Checking with your employer would also be a good way to stay informed.
When the vaccine becomes available to you, you will be able to receive your vaccine in a number of ways. You may get your vaccine at your workplace, through your healthcare provider, local retail pharmacy, or at a local community vaccination event. More information will be shared as it becomes available.
Right now, the supply of vaccines is limited. The manufacturers are working to make as much as possible as quickly as possible, but it will take time before everyone can get it. Even though it might be awhile before you can get vaccinated, there are things you can do to help right now.
• Keep protecting yourself and others. It can take several weeks for the body to develop full immunity after both doses are received. This means that we must stay vigilant; we still need to wear masks, stay six feet away from others, and avoid high-risk situations that might cause the virus to spread until we know for sure that most people are protected.
• Get a flu shot. Hospitals are struggling to keep up during this pandemic. Give them a helping hand by getting a flu shot and preventing further spread of illness this winter.
• Spread the word about the COVID-19 vaccine. It is estimated that at least 7 out of every 10 people will need to be vaccinated in order to end this pandemic and get back to the things we love. Talking to your friends and family and encouraging them to get their vaccine will help this happen quickly!
If you have questions on the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact the Wisconsin Department of Health at DHSCOVIDVACCINEPUBLIC@wi.gov.