Wisconsin health officials say they don’t have enough Covid vaccines to meet demand

Governor Tony Evers criticized Republican lawmakers for trying to repeal the state’s mask mandate
Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 5:42 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - State health officials expressed concern about the low supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses Wisconsin is receiving from the federal government.

During the state’s media briefing on its COVID fight, Democratic Governor Tony Evers also said Republicans are undermining his effort to control the infectious disease with their attempts to repeal the mask mandate.

“They ignore the science, they ignore the people that implement the science,” Gov. Evers said. “The options are few. Anyway, our order is still in place. The Assembly doesn’t have to kick it down the road.”

The Wisconsin Assembly postponed a vote Thursday to end the mask emergency order after the state Senate passed a measure earlier this week to toss out the mandate.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services made clear during the briefing that without more vaccine doses, there’s no way the pandemic can end in the state. Until then, Evers is urging everyone to wear a mask and socially distance.

His administration relayed frustration with the short supply of COVID-19 vaccines in Wisconsin.

The federal government allocates doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to states. Wisconsin receives about 70,000 first doses each week, according to the Department of Health Services. Both are two-dose vaccines.

“Our goal is to get all vaccine out in the hands of vaccinators as quickly as possible so that they can get it in the arms of patients as quickly as possible,” DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said.

The Evers Administration also addressed a controversy regarding a 33-year-old Milwaukee Bucks executive who was vaccinated.

“There’s no way we can police every single vaccine that is put in an arm at the end of the day,” Willems Van Dijk said.

The governor, who is 69 years old, said neither he nor his wife have been vaccinated yet; they’re still waiting in line. However, he prefers someone get the vaccine dose rather than it go to waste.

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