Local rollout of vaccine hits several snags as vaccinations expand

Vaccine distributors say the start has been bumpy but they expect improvements
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 4:59 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - There was a general understanding that developing a vaccine for a new virus would be a monumental feat, yet it was accomplished in record time.

What no one expected was problems getting doses in people’s arms.

The Healthcare Distribution Alliance is an industry trade group that represents different companies shipping the vaccine.

“The Wisconsin [Department of Health Services] will contact the federal government and say, ‘this is the community we have, please allocate the product to these locations in the state of Wisconsin.’ So that’s all being determined by the state of Wisconsin,” Patrick Kelly, executive vice president of government affairs for Healthcare Distribution Alliance, said.

According to the group, there are several parts to vaccination process. The federal government allocates the vaccines to states that the shipping companies then distribute to public and private health agencies who then administer the shots.

“It’s not a distribution problem per se. It’s not a ‘getting the product where the product needs to be.’ It’s actually getting the product into a facility that can then handle the product and administer the product is where the challenges exist,” Kelly said.

Starting next week, those who qualify to receive the Covid-19 vaccine will be able to get their doses at two clinics in Brown County. Bellin Health set up one clinic.

Bellin acknowledged the slow rollout on Wednesday, but on Thursday the health system urged everyone to keep perspective.

“The slow rollout helps us be very planful to kind of minimize any mistakes or errors that we’re making, so we can work out the kinks and make sure we have a very smooth, efficient process,” Bellin Team Leader of Clinical Operations Jill Spejcher said.

The negative with the delayed rollout has been those who really need the vaccine having to wait longer.

“If we could give people a timeline of when it will be their turn, I think there will be a lot less anxiety for everybody,” Spejcher said.

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