NEENAH, Wis. – ThedaCare is excited to share that Northeast and Central Wisconsin could see the first shipment of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines within the coming weeks. The initial COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as early as mid-December, with the first shipment expected immediately after authorization. Federal and state authorities call for health care personnel to be offered vaccines in the first phase of the program, starting with hospital workers, emergency responders and long-term care staff.
The initial priority will be to vaccinate health care personnel who are at high occupational risk for exposure to COVID-19 and those working in roles that are essential to the COVID-19 response. ThedaCare expects that the program will expand to all health care personnel soon, as well as community members at high risk of COVID-19 infection and complications.
As availability improves in the coming months, vaccines will be offered to others in
accordance to federal and state guidelines.
“This may be a new vaccine, but we are by no means new to the practice of consistent,
reliable and effective distribution of vaccines to our ThedaCare caregivers and those we serve throughout all corners of our service area,” states Dr. Imran A. Andrabi, President and CEO of ThedaCare. “We will follow federal and state guidelines to continue our long history of delivering vaccines safely and effectively.”
Under the guidance of Dr. Mark Cockley, Chief Clinical Officer of the Clinically Integrated
Network, and with the support of Dr. David Brooks, Medical Director of Infectious Disease for the health system, ThedaCare’s COVID-19 Vaccine Steering and Operations Committees are working closely with federal and state authorities to plan and ensure the health system is prepared for distribution as soon as an authorized vaccine is available.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be recommended, but not mandatory, for ThedaCare team
members. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will continue to be required at current levels regardless of team members’ decisions to receive the vaccine.
“The health and safety of our team members, patients and communities, are our number one priority,” said Dr. Andrabi. “As we approach this promising milestone, we urge all members of our communities to continue safe behaviors to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including masking and avoiding gatherings with those outside your immediate household.”
ThedaCare officials will continue to share information regularly as they learn more from
federal and state authorities about the distribution of the vaccines. For resources, or if you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms including fever, cough or difficulty breathing, visit ThedaCareCOVID19.org or call the community hotline at 920-830-6877 or 800-236-2236.