Brown County health officials acknowledge slow Covid vaccine roll out and slew of misinformation

The challenges in getting people vaccinated comes as state and federal agencies expand the list of those who can get a shot
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 5:39 PM CST
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HOBART, Wis. (WBAY) - John Melendy says he’s concerned about his 90-year-old mother’s safety.

“We just finally got news Monday that at the end of the month that they will get the vaccines to my mom’s long-term care facility,” Melendy of Green Bay said.

She lives at the Emerald Bay Retirement Community and Memory Care in Hobart.

Melendy said he was initially told his mom would be vaccinated for Covid-19 before Christmas Day. But due to issues with distribution, her shot was pushed back to January 25.

“I have not been able to see her for many, many months because they’ve been in total lockdown. My mother has Alzheimer’s. I feel like I’ve been losing connection with her,” Melendy said.

The 63 year old has a lung disease and said he intends to be vaccinated when it’s his turn.

“I have a mother to protect, the rest of my family to worry about. I’m not concerned about the vaccine being safe, I believe it is safe,” Melendy said.

According to Brown County Public Health, more challenges will arise as state and federal agencies enter new phases of those who get vaccinated.

During a media conference, the agency said it’s been pushing back against a slew of misinformation related to the vaccine. They include that the vaccine alters a person’s DNA and that the recipient is getting a dead covid virus. None are true.

Dr. Michael Landrum of Bellin Health acknowledged at Wednesday’s conference that the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine has been slow. He said it mostly has to do with building the infrastructure for distribution from the ground up.

“Getting the vaccine is step number 1, but then delivering it is almost as much of a challenge to try to get it to people and into their arms, because of all the logistical challenges,” Landrum, an infectious disease doctor at Bellin, said.

Those challenges involved the Pfizer-and-BioNTech vaccine, which has to be kept in subzero temperatures.

Dr. Landrum said more than 60 percent of the population has to be vaccinated by the end of 2021 to at least put a dent in the pandemic.

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