Rock County health officials said Thursday they do not know when local providers might receive Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
When they do, the new one-dose vaccine likely will be earmarked for educators and child care workers, while Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will continue to be prioritized for people age 65 and older, said Kelsey Cordova, a public health supervisor.
The state Department of Health Services has advised local providers to use Johnson & Johnson vaccine to vaccinate educators and child care workers, who have been considered a priority over other groups who became eligible for vaccination Monday.
Wisconsin is expected to receive 47,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week, which will satisfy immediate needs until more of it arrives at the end of the month.
Most local providers are waiting on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine before vaccinating child care workers. Vaccine efforts this week have remained focused on people ages 65 and older, Cordova said.
Food-supply-chain workers also became eligible Monday. This week, Hormel announced its own initiative to vaccinate its workforce by partnering with Beloit Community Health Center for on-site vaccinations of its 400 employees.
The health department encourages employers to reach out to local providers to create partnerships or plans for workforce vaccinations, Cordova said.
She said employers could start by reaching out to health care systems they already partner with for health insurance or other programs.
As of Thursday morning, 27,510 Rock County residents have received at least one dose of vaccine. That’s 21% of the county’s 16-and-older population. Vaccine so far is not authorized for those younger than 16.
Of those vaccinated, 15,895 are older than 65, which is about 55% of the county’s estimated senior population.
The state health department has launched two new resources to help connect people to vaccines.
The state opened its statewide vaccine registry this week, which allows eligible and not-yet-eligible people to be placed on a vaccine wait list.
The registry is being piloted in a handful of communities including:
- Rock County’s community vaccination site at Blackhawk Technical College.
- La Crosse County’s community vaccination site.
- Green County.
- Wauwatosa Health Department.
- Marathon County Health Department.
- Oneida County Public Health Department.
Other vaccinators across the state will be able to use the registry April 1. Not all vaccinators will choose to use the registry, state officials say.
Those on the statewide registry eventually will be connected to a provider, but they are still encouraged to seek vaccine from their local health care providers.
The registry is available at vaccinate.wi.gov.
The state also has opened a statewide vaccine assistance hotline to answer Wisconsinites’ questions. Residents can call the hotline at 844-684-1064.