MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin health officials said Thursday, May 6 that they've ordered only a fraction of the COVID-19 vaccine doses the federal government had set aside for the state for next week, another sign of plateauing interest in the shots.
Interest in the vaccine has been waning across the country. President Joe Biden's administration announced Tuesday that it would shift doses from states with lower demand to states with more interest.
The federal government has allocated 86,580 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 65,900 first doses of the Moderna vaccine and 10,200 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the week starting Monday. Wisconsin Department of Health Services spokeswoman Elizabeth Goodsitt said the agency has ordered 9,120 Pfizer doses, 2,070 Moderna doses and just 2,100 Johnson & Johnson doses.
Demand for the vaccines in Wisconsin is softening, Goodsitt said, noting that one in three Wisconsin residents are now fully vaccinated. She added that vaccinators are working through their existing inventories before ordering more doses, she said.
In Milwaukee County, no news vaccine doses were ordered for the Kosciuszko Community Center. Vaccinators are using what they already have.
"We did not receive any new doses. That was our request to ensure that we could use up all of our doses that we had from the last week and not have any wasted doses," said Dr. Ben Weston with the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.
The Milwaukee Health Department is doing the same.
"We may, similar to the county, have used our current inventory this week and we hope to use as much as can," said Kirsten Johnson, Milwaukee health commissioner.
DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said Tuesday that the department has been surveying vaccinators weekly to get an idea of how many doses to order but is preparing to switch to an on-demand system, helping establish what she called a "more natural cadence" for distribution.
As of Thursday, about 2.6 million Wisconsin residents had received at least one shot of vaccine and almost 2.1 million were fully vaccinated, according to DHS data. Wisconsin has about 5.8 million people.