DHS launches COVID-19 vaccine data page; CDC makes vaccination recommendations

For the Tomahawk Leader

WISCONSIN – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) launched its new COVID-19 vaccine data page (www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-data.htm) on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Data shown includes summary metrics for allocation, shipment, and total vaccine administered, as well as a graph displaying the number of vaccinations administered per day. DHS plans to update these visualizations at 2 p.m. every Tuesday.

On Dec. 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made recommendations about who should be vaccinated first.

DHS vaccine data page

“We are committed to providing the public with timely COVID-19 vaccine information,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “Even though we’re in the early stages of the Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Program, it is important for Wisconsinites to know where we stand and highlight the unprecedented work being done by COVID-19 vaccinators across the state.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized two COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use. The FDA, the CDC, and independent advisors review all vaccine safety and effectiveness data before any vaccine is approved or allowed for distribution. Wisconsin began administering vaccines after the first shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the state on Monday, Dec. 14. The first vaccinations with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine began on Tuesday, Dec. 22. As of the end of day Monday, Dec. 28, Wisconsin has administered 40,850 doses of Pfizer and 6,306 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Data on vaccinations come from the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR) (www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/immunization/wir.htm). WIR is an online system that tracks immunizations given in health care settings into one record for Wisconsinites. This database, containing more than nine million immunization records, receives information from the Wisconsin Vital Statistics program, health care organizations, and Medicaid, and shares data with Minnesota and Michigan’s immunization registries. Guidance from the CDC dictates that all COVID-19 vaccinations must be reported to WIR and providers are expected to complete reporting within 24 hours of administration.

DHS plans to expand the data displayed on this page as COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available. At this time, geographic and demographic vaccine data will not be publicly available due to the small, targeted approach of the early stages of the Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Program.

According to data on the vaccine data page, 265,575 vaccines had been allocated to Wisconsin by the federal government as of Tuesday, Dec. 29. A total of 156,875 vaccines had been shipped to Wisconsin, while 47, 157 vaccines had been administered. Of the vaccines that had been administered, 40,850 were from Pfizer, while 6,306 were from Moderna.

CDC’s vaccination recommendations

On Dec. 3, CDC made recommendations to federal, state and local governments about who should be vaccinated first.

“CDC’s recommendations are based on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts,” CDC said.

CDC recommended that healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents should be offered the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1a.

Phase 1b would see frontline essential workers such as fire fighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, United States Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the educational sector (teachers, support staff, and daycare workers) receive the vaccine. People aged 75 and older would also be included in Phase 1b “because they are at high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19,” CDC stated. “People aged 75 years and older who are also residents of long-term care facilities should be offered vaccination in Phase 1a.”

CDC’s recommendation for Phase 1c includes people aged 65 to 74 years, people aged 16 to 64 years with underlying medical conditions, and other essential workers, “such as people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health.”

“As vaccine availability increases, vaccination recommendations will expand to include more groups,” CDC stated. “The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as large quantities of vaccine are available. As vaccine supply increases but remains limited, ACIP will expand the groups recommended for vaccination.”

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