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Wisconsin governor tours COVID-19 vaccine site at UW-Green Bay

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 10:17 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers toured the newly opened COVID-19 vaccination clinic at UW-Green Bay Monday.

The clinic opened Monday and started vaccinating police, fire and EMS workers. These clinics are not open to the general public at this time. CLICK HERE for more information.

“I am looking forward to the day we can say everybody’s vaccinated. We’re going to do our damnedest to make that happen as quickly as we can,” said Gov. Evers.

The clinic is set up at the Kress Events Center, 2358 Leon Bond Dr. Again, this clinic is only for people who are eligible to receive the vaccine as determined by the phase groups set by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The state is still vaccinating people in Phase 1A. They have not set a final determination of who will be in Phase 1B.

UW System President Tommy Thompson also toured the clinic.

UWGB COVID CLINIC TOUR

#FirstAlert: Gov. Tony Evers and UW System President Tommy Thompson are touring the COVID vaccine site at UWGB.

Posted by WBAY TV-2 on Monday, January 18, 2021

Prevea teamed up with UWGB for the clinic. Prevea President and CEO Dr. Ashok Rai described the venue during a visit to Action 2 News This Morning.

“You come in the door up top, there’s eight different areas for you to check in and register. There’s a waiting area. There’s 23 vaccination rooms that are being built here, and a very large recovery space. It’s important to remember that we have to watch people for 15-to-30 minutes, so you need a large enough space. That grayed-out area is where we do the testing. It’s kind of a blacked out area, it’s reserved for testing for the UWGB students,” says Dr. Rai. “On day one, we won’t have 23 vaccinator booths filled, because you have to remember it’s two shots. And I think people forget that when they do their math. So for the first three weeks, you’ll operate at 50-percent capacity, or maybe around 60-or- 65 percent capacity, because the second shot’s faster. Because you know in three weeks, half those people will be there for first shots, half of them will be there for their second shot. So it’s important to remember when you’re doing the math, and people talk about a slow rollout, in the first three weeks, your capacity is always going to be limited because you have to be ready to do more first shots and second shots at the same time. When this is humming and this is good to go, in about three weeks with first shots and second shots happening, about 10,560 shots a week in just this site. And then we’ll continue to expand this to our Sheboygan market and to other parts of the state. That’s just us, and other health systems are doing their part. So the ramp up is happening and it’s happening fast. The rate limiting step is the state making sure we have enough vaccine to get those 10,560 a week done.”

Prevea says it plans to open clinics at the UWGB campuses in Sheboygan and Marinette. Once those clinics are fully operational, and they have enough supply, they hope to do 20,000 immunizations a week.

Dr. Rai says people who live in rural areas or have no internet access can call a number for information. “We will have a 1-800 number established, 1-833-344-HERE (4373) to help those that aren’t familiar with internet or don’t have internet access. We want to make sure that there are zero barriers at this site and all sites across Wisconsin to becoming vaccinated,” said Dr. Rai. Interpreter services will be available for those who do not speak English.

Also Monday, a COVID vaccine clinic is opening at Bellin Health Ashwaubenon Clinic, 1630 Commanche Ave. Again, these clinics are not open to the general public.

“The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in our area is exciting news for our community, and we want to make it as easy as possible for eligible individuals to be vaccinated as rollout proceeds,” Bellin Health President & CEO Chris Woleske said. “This new site offers a convenient location and ease of parking and building access, making the vaccination process as simple as possible for those we serve.”

As of Jan. 15, Wisconsin had administered 213,056 vaccines. The state says 373,100 vaccines have been shipped to sites in the state. A total of 607,650 vaccines have been allocated to Wisconsin from the federal government. CLICK HERE to track COVID vaccine numbers in Wisconsin.

Gov. Evers says one of the barriers the state faces in expanding vaccinations is the allotment from the federal government.

“I think you have to understand that the CDC provided the advice to us, and we have a group of experts that provide advice to me and the secretary of Health Services. The issue has been we haven’t had enough to move things forward. We could put everybody in tomorrow if we want to, but that would be foolish because we don’t have the vaccines to put everybody in. So doing it in a reasonable, step-by-step basis hasn’t been a barrier. The people that are making those recommendations to me are doing it as quickly as possible. The barrier is making sure that we have the vaccines that we need. And we will be making some announcements about expanding that in the very near future,” said Gov. Evers.

He’s hopeful that more vaccines will be sent to states with the incoming Joe Biden administration.

“I believe the Biden administration understands the importance of this. We will get the vaccines that we need. In order for Prevea and the people of Northeast Wisconsin to be vaccinated, we need the federal government to make sure they stand up and get the vaccine that we need,” says Evers.

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