Vaccinators gear up for when people 65+ are eligible for vaccine

Vaccinators across the state are gearing up for next week when people 65 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. It is all part of the Phase 1b vaccine rollout.

So far, Hayat Pharmacy in Milwaukee is reporting a successful first week of administering the COVID-19 vaccine to patients.

Hayat Pharmacy, Milwaukee

"People who were scheduled, showed up, they got it on time. There wasn’t much wait time," said Dimmy Sokhal, a pharmacist at Hayat Pharmacy.

180 shots went into the arms of unaffiliated health care workers -- as well as people 65 and older.

"We’re ready for the second round. We can handle much, much than what we did this week," Sokhal said.

The pharmacy has requested 5,000 doses for next week -- when 700,000 seniors around the state will officially be eligible to be immunized.

The Department of Health Services says residents can access the vaccine through pharmacies like Hayat -- as well as through their primary care doctor or local health department.

The confusing part right now? No two places are doing it exactly the same.

Inundated with calls, one clinic in Plymouth is instructing patients not to contact them. Their website reads, "We will do outreach phone calls starting with our oldest patients."

Meanwhile in Jefferson County, the health department is offering vaccinations on a first come, first serve basis. They are directing people who are interested to fill out an online survey.

"And then when we are able to schedule them, we send out a registration link to all of the interested and eligible individuals," said Samroz Jakvani, an epidemiologist with the Jefferson County Health Department.

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Already there is a waitlist. The county expects to receive 700 doses on Monday, while 2,000 people have signed up.

"We are working in Jefferson County as hard as we can to make sure the vaccine rollout is smooth, prioritized, efficient, safe for everyone," Jakvani said.

Wisconsin is working with Microsoft to create a statewide COVID-19 vaccine registry.

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