Wisconsin officials report highest daily COVID-19 vaccination total yet, report demand for doses has doubled in last week

Walgreens pharmacist Erika Medlock, left, administers a COVID-19 vaccine to nurse Celeste Klaus as Shorehaven's nursing home residents and staff received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the facility in Oconomowoc Monday.

As Wisconsin health officials reported daily COVID-19 vaccinations reached a new record, they also said demand for doses has surged following the news this week that a wider population would be eligible soon for the vaccine.

At a state Department of Health Services news conference Thursday afternoon, DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said about 22,000 doses were given in the last 24 hours.

That’s about 4,000 doses more than the previous daily high.

As of Thursday, about 285,000 doses have been administered statewide, she said, and 51,893 people have received both doses of the vaccine.

More: What we know about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 vaccine plan, what groups will get it and when

Responding to those 65 and older who were frustrated their doctors, pharmacies and local health departments didn’t have any information when they called to set up vaccination appointments for next week, Willems Van Dijk asked people to call again in a week or two after those locations receive shipments of vaccine. She expects they will “get a different answer” by then, she said.

“It’s going to take time, and we need to be patient. Their doctors, their pharmacies will be getting vaccine if they request it. I think it’s really important for us to remember how the system works,” Willems Van Dijk said.

More than 1,300 entities have enrolled with the state to be vaccinators, or vaccine providers, Willems Van Dijk said. Many agencies have signed up in recent days following the news that those 65 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine starting Monday, she said.

The state has seen “double the requests” for vaccine this week compared with last week, Willems Van Dijk said. 

“They’re preparing, they’re getting ready, they’ll have vaccine on board,” she said of vaccinators.

And Gov. Tony Evers repeated his administration’s calls for more doses from the federal government. He said he thinks the U.S. can meet President Joe Biden’s call for 100 million doses administered in 100 days, but the key will be ramping up production.

“The amount of vaccine that comes into the state and is available to put into people’s arms is solely a federal solution,” Evers said.

“It’s my hope that the president does everything in his power to increase production,” he said. “If we want to do this as quickly as possible, we need to have more.”

Wisconsin this week reported 779,800 doses have been allocated to the state from the federal government, including 197,000 doses set aside for nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The state recently changed how it represents the doses that have arrived in the state or are being shipped. About 50% of available doses have been administered statewide, according to current data.

Track COVID-19 in Wisconsin: See the latest data on cases and the vaccine rollout

How to interpret COVID-19 data: What experts say about positive cases, deaths and hospitalizations

New cases reported: 2,177

New deaths reported: 45

Number hospitalized: 808 (intensive care: 173); down 500 patients from one month ago

Seven-day average of daily cases: 1,731 (down 1,085 cases from one month ago)

Seven-day average of daily deaths: 45 (down six from one month ago)

The average positivity rate — first-time positive tests over the last seven days — was 22.4% Thursday.

Total cases since the start of pandemic: 528,101 (23,965 active cases)

Total deaths: 5,607

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