Doctors urge: Get vaccines up to date before school

Burnett and Polk County Public Health departments are teaming up to help Wisconsinites over the age of 65 to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The drive-thru vaccinations will be taking place on Thursday Jan. 28 and those interested must pre-register online.

“We are thankful and very happy about the partnership with Polk County Public Health,” said Allison Fern of Burnett County Health and Human Services. Fern noted Polk County Public Health is much bigger and their resources will be very helpful with this process.

Fern answered a number of questions from the County Board and included that the vaccine will not be mandated and is completely voluntary. She also said people will most likely not be able to choose whether they receive the Moderna of Pfizer vaccine.

After you fill out the short registration form online, Polk County Public Health will send you an email about appointment time based on eligibility and vaccine availability.

“We are suggesting everyone fill out that registration form regardless of where they fall in the phases,” Fern said. She was referring to the planned stages of the vaccine roll-out. Wisconsin is currently in phase 1A where healthcare workers and long-term care staff and residents are the specific populations for vaccines.

“With the expansion of vaccines to our most vulnerable populations, we have increased our communication with partners to ensure the most efficient distribution of available vaccines in our counties. The Polk County Health Department has also partnered with Burnett County for vaccine distribution,” said Tonya Eichelt, Polk County Interim Health Officer.

As the Sentinel reported earlier this month, Burnett Medical Center has continued to administer vaccines.

BMC received its second supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on January 5th, 2021 and have administered it to those who received the first dose three weeks prior.

Gov. Tony Evers recently said that any Wisconsinite over 65 should be able to get vaccinated in a radio address.

“Wisconsinites across our state are ready and anxious to get vaccinated and that’s great because that’s how we kick this pandemic to the curb.

“That’s why this week we announced starting Monday, January 25th Wisconsinites ages 65 plus will be eligible for the vaccine.

“This is great news and will help save lives in one of the populations we know is particularly vulnerable to severe effects of the virus.

“Although it’s important to remember that this process is going to take time to get everyone vaccinated, we’re going to move as quickly as we can and we encourage folks who are 65 or older to connect with their primary care provider or find more information at dhs.wisconsin.gov.

“The amount of vaccines we get from the federal government will determine how quickly we get through this group of approximately 700,000 Wisconsinites, but our healthcare partners, pharmacies, and local and tribal public health folks are ready and up to the task. They are getting to work with the supplies we do have to get to as many people as possible, as quickly and safely as possible.”

If you have any questions regarding the vaccine or need to pre-register, please contact Polk County Health Department at 715-485-9258 or Burnett County Health Department at 715-349-7600.