The rollout of COVID-19 vaccine to those aged 65-plus is underway in Kenosha County, with residents getting the first of two inoculations at area pharmacies and from their healthcare providers.
However, demand exceeds supply of the vaccine here, quantified by the number of people using online vaccine registries.
As an example, the message Monday on the registration page for Modern Apothecary, 4924 Seventh Ave., read: “At this time, no appointments are currently available. Additional times will be opened on Thursdays after confirmation of the number of doses we will be receiving for the following week.”
Those age 65 and older became eligible Monday for the vaccine under a change announced by the state Department of Health Services last week. Andrea Palm, who until Monday was secretary-designee of the state DHS, said the decision was made based on “death data” that shows a disproportionate number of people in the 65+ age group have “perished from this disease.”
“And so this decision to put people age 65 and older first is, one, based in the realities of this disease,” Palm said. “This is the population that has died at the highest rates, and, therefore, the population we want to protect first.”
Palm left DHS Monday for her new role as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Kenosha County data
As of Monday, 262 Kenosha County residents have died as a result of COVID-19, according to data from the Wisconsin DHS.
Kenosha County Division of Health data for those ages 60-69, 70-79 and 80+ shows:
60-69: 1,500 residents in this age group have tested positive for COVID-19 and 47, or 3.13 percent, have died as a result of the disease.
70-79: 773 residents in this age group tested positive for COVID-19, and 63, or 8.15 percent, have died as a result of the disease.
80+: 569 residents in this age group tested positive for COVID-19, and 124, or 21.70 percent, have died as a result of the disease.
As of Sunday, Wisconsin has administered 345,017 doses of the vaccine and Kenosha County had vaccinated 6,550 residents, or 3.85 percent of the population.
Kenosha County’s goal is to have at least 127,500 residents vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to reach 75% herd immunity.
Local dose allotment
The KCDH received 1,900 doses of the vaccine for distribution this week, plus 350 additional second doses for who those are due.
Kenosha County Health officer Dr. Jen Freiheit said there are a couple of things worth noting:
All of these 1,900 first doses will be distributed this week, but not all of them will necessarily go to people aged 65+. The county will also still be vaccinating Tier 1a healthcare workers, law enforcement members and firefighters.
These are just the doses that the Kenosha County Division of Health received. There is not a mechanism in place to track the numbers that other providers — pharmacies, hospitals, etc. — are receiving.
The county has also launched an online registration form to help connect people with the available supply. It will alert those who register when it is their turn and where to go, Freiheit said. The form is accessible online at: kenosha-county-covid-19-response-kenoshacounty.
“We have received more than 11,400 sign-ups on our online form since it opened up the week before last,” Freiheit said. “This includes 65+, as well as other 1a and 1b individuals.”
More than 1,200 vaccination providers, including hospitals, local health departments, pharmacies and community clinics, have registered with the state to dispense shots. This includes more than 20 pharmacies and clinics throughout Kenosha County.
In addition to online vaccine registries available through the county and local pharmacies, healthcare systems that serve Kenosha County residents also have announced how residents can register for a vaccine:
Aurora Health Care patients are encouraged to download the LiveWell app from Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store. Aurora, part of Advocate Aurora Health, will contact patients through the app to schedule an appointment for the vaccine.
More information is available at aah.org/vaccine.
Meanwhile, Froedtert South has the vaccine and is vaccinating patients that have their primary care physician through Froedtert South. Patients who have their scheduled appointments should continue to keep their appointment, Froedtert South officials said Monday night. Patients should not confuse their local information from Froedtert South with any coming from Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa.
“While vaccination is occurring in Kenosha County, we need the community to remain vigilant to keep the spread down via distancing, masking, and hand washing, even after vaccination, until we reach herd immunity,” Freiheit said.
For more information on frequently asked questions about the vaccine, go online to: dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-faq.htm
Additional information local doctors are reportedly sharing with their patients understand science behind the vaccine can be found at: