Many WI frontline workers due for 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine

It's been nearly three weeks since frontline healthcare workers in Wisconsin began receiving their first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. 

That means they'll soon be due for the second dose.

Nearly 12,000 people, many of whom are doctors and nurses working in emergency rooms and in COVID-19 units, received their first dose of the vaccine that first week it arrived in the state. 

Now, providers not only have to make time this week to give those 12,000 their second shot. They also have to continue administering the first shot to the rest of their employees. 

"The massive undertaking around the state to vaccinate some 400,000 healthcare workers from the coronavirus is about to become even more challenging,"

The two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are to be administered 21 days apart. 

Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin says it has already begun giving employees their second dose. 

This, while providers are simultaneously also administering the first dose to those who still need it. 

The rollout is moving slower than expected across the country. 

The CDC says more than four million people have been vaccinated despite Operation Warp Speed predicting that number would be closer to 20 million by the end of 2020. 

In Wisconsin, 265,000 doses have been allocated to the state. Of those 156,000 that have shipped 47,000 have gone in arms. 

Now, the FDA is considering giving out half-doses of Moderna's vaccine, which requires a second dose after 28 days, in the hopes of speeding up the rollout. 

UW Health will begin administering Pfizer's second dose this week. Telling FOX6 in a statement it will be doing so while "...adhering to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and State Department of Health Services. This a critical step for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to ensure their full effectiveness."

The CDC says the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine can be given up to four days before the 21-day mark. 

FOX6 reached out to state health officials about their guidance to providers, but have not heard back. 

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