Getting a vaccine appointment is getting easier.
Over the last couple of weeks, supply of the vaccine in Jefferson County is starting to outpace those rolling up their sleeves to get a shot as 36 percent of residents have received at least one dose.
That percentage slightly lags behind the number of people vaccinated in the state.
But on Friday, another group in the county will get their shot at a vaccine. For teenagers ages 16 and 17, Fort HealthCare has set up a clinic specially for that age group. Pfizer is the only vaccine that has been approved for that group.
Nicole Leibman, marketing manager at Fort HealthCare, said this clinic is set up for any teen that age, even if they are not a patient.
She also said they have a good supply of vaccine for anyone who has not yet signed up for a shot.
Across the state, getting a vaccine is getting quicker, as well.
Samroz Jakvani, epidemiologist and COVID-19 public information officer for the Jefferson County Health Department, said wait times depend on the clinic, and also depend on where you are in the state. But times usually range from two to seven days.
“Looking even at the state registry, there are appointments available at vaccination sites for today and the rest of this week,” he said. “For Jefferson County, no one who has contacted us has had to wait more than a week.”
The county makes appointments available each week for the following week, Jakvani said, and for the past two weeks the county has had appointments available the same day as clinics.
“We only have a clinic one or two days a week, so depending on when someone signs up, they could get an email from us the same day,” he said. “If you sign up the day after our clinic, you would wait two or three days at most before being contacted about making an appointment for the following week.”
For those who have found signing up for a vaccination confusing, or simply have delayed the process, the county will be holding a walk-in clinic in the coming weeks that tentatively is scheduled for May 8.
This week, Gov. Tony Evers also announced that Wisconsin schools will receive $175 million in federal funding to pay for testing of teachers, students and staff.
More than 41 percent of state residents have gotten one dose of a COVID vaccine, including 19% of teens ages 16 and 17.
But as supply has been ramping up, daily cases of COVID still are high in Wisconsin. On Wednesday there were 626 cases of the virus, and 592,262 people have had the virus in the last year.
More companies also are offering vaccinations at places of work, but as supply outpaces demand, work continues to try and get more people vaccinated.
“Supply is outpacing demand rather sooner than we’d hoped, given that only about 36% of residents have been vaccinated,” Jakvani said. “We haven’t had too many leftover doses each week (about 20 to 30 for the past couple of weeks), but that could increase soon.
“We are hoping that folks have been holding out because they don’t realize how easy it is to get an appointment now,” he added, “and some might not be familiar with the level of confidence we have in these vaccines regarding their safety and efficacy.”
Jakvani said they have seen an increase in COVID cases over the last several weeks in Jefferson County, especially among younger individuals.