Rock County has delivered at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 44% of people 65 and older as the community-based vaccination clinic at Blackhawk Technical College wraps up its first week.
“That’s a great metric we’re seeing over the course of the last few weeks,” Rock County epidemiologist Nick Zupan said during a media briefing Thursday.
A total of 22,779 Rock County residents—about 13.9% of the county population—have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 9,503 residents—about 5.8% of the population—have received both doses, according to the state Department of Health Services.
The vaccine clinic at BTC has enough vaccine to inoculate 200 residents daily with the ability to expand vaccinations up to 1,000 doses daily as supply increases.
The state’s allotment of vaccine from the federal government has increased 64% since January, and those levels of increased supply will be available for at least the next three weeks, Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said Thursday.
The state Wednesday surpassed 1 million vaccinations, and by Thursday 1.07 million vaccinations had been administered, Van Dijk said.
“It took 48 days to administer the first 500,000 vaccines and only 18 days to administer the next 500,000 doses,” Van Dijk added.
Rock County will once again be at the forefront in the state’s vaccine response as the county is poised to test a vaccine registry program that will then roll out to the rest of the state in the coming weeks, according to the state Department of Health Services.
In a call with reporters Thursday, state officials announced Wisconsin has partnered with Microsoft for a registry to allow residents to apply for vaccination. Rock County will be part of the pilot program with health departments in Racine, Green, Marathon, Oneida, Dane, St. Croix and Waukesha counties and the cities of Menasha and Wauwatosa.
The Rock County Public Health Department is working through a waiting list of eligible people who have signed up to be vaccinated, and further outreach is expected Monday when the health department plans to launch its permanent online vaccine registration tool.
The health department has been making direct contact with those on the waiting list who are eligible for the vaccine. Zupan said the county has received applications for those not yet eligible for inoculation, but the health department keeps that information on file for when expanded groups can be vaccinated.
Public Health Supervisor Kelsey Cordova said the health department will conduct “targeted outreach” in partnership with various Rock County community groups as vaccine eligibility expands.
More eligible groups—education and child care workers, individuals enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs, some public-facing essential workers, non-frontline health care essential personnel, and facility staff and residents in congregate living settings—could be eligible for vaccination starting March 1, state health services eligibility information shows.
The vaccine registry will require people to answer questions to determine if they are in one of the groups eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and help them schedule an appointment. If they are not eligible or if no appointments are available, they will be placed on a waiting list.