WAUWATOSA, Wis. - More than 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered in Wisconsin, but the state estimates there are still hundreds of thousands of people waiting in the first priority group.
As the state looks to ramp up its vaccine rollout, some private practice physicians are navigating the process.
Dentists at Tosa Dental got their vaccines on New Year's Eve with the help of a former neighbor -- and say many dentists are still waiting to know when it will be the turn.
Wearing a mask isn't an option when getting work done on your teeth.
"Just by nature of where we work, we work in the mouth, in very close proximity. It just leaves us very vulnerable to having an exposure or direct contact with that virus," said Anne Allmann, owner and dentist at Tosa Dental.
Anne Allmann and staff from Tosa Dental
Allmann and her staff proudly got the coronavirus vaccine to finish out 2020, but their doses didn't come directly from the state. They got a call from Tosa Pediatrics, who ended up with extra doses after vaccinating its staff.
"There was a lot of scrambling, a lot of all hands on deck to try to make sure again we use every dose that we can," said Dr. Tim Marsho with Tosa Pediatrics.
Marsho said Tosa Pediatrics got a call on Dec. 28 that eight vials of the Pfizer vaccine would be arriving the next day -- leaving staff with 24 hours during a holiday week to prepare.
"There’s a lot of challenges in terms of logistics, in terms of storage, in terms of once a vial is mixed how soon or how quickly you can use it," Marsho said.
Both doctors are grateful that they are vaccinated, but Allmann hopes the communication improves so that other dentists who are still waiting have answers.
"There’s kind of a disconnect in the rollout, from my understanding, the number of doses that are going to each facility are kind of unknown or unpredictable," said Allmann.
Marsho said he asks for the public's patients as the process is worked out. He hopes to help distribute the vaccine to the public once it is widely available.