Governor Evers: Focus on stopping spread of COVID-19, not vaccine numbers

Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 5:33 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - For the first time this year, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm give a vaccine rollout update Tuesday.

“While the start of a new calendar year brings with it a whole assortment of fresh starts, this is one area there is no reset button,” said Governor Evers.

Although there is no reset button, Evers said there is a ‘forward’ button as long as people continue to follow CDC guidelines while waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine.

“As governor, I hope interest doesn’t move us away from important work of making sure we don’t make it worse while we are fussing around this issue,” said Evers. “All this interest in the vaccine, I get it, but at the end of the day, if we let our guard down based on expectation we are going to get shot tomorrow, and life is going to be good, we will be making a horrible mistake.”

As of Tuesday, about a third of the vaccines shipped to the state have been administered. Of the 266,725 doses shipped, a little ore than 85,000 have been given.

Palm said those numbers will increase dramatically over the next few weeks.

“The good news is that our vaccinator capacity has grown significantly,” said Palm. “In early December, we had fewer than 50 registered vaccinators. As of yesterday, we have more than 1,000 vaccine providers that are able to administer the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Palm.

Some have criticized the vaccine rollout here in Wisconsin, comparing the state numbers to surrounding states. Both Pam and Evers say that’s not a fair comparison.

“If you want to compare, fine, compare away,” said Evers. “But I think it’s also important to remember that there are some things that can’t be compared. I know states have said 1A (vaccination phase) includes people over 65 and you see lines of wheel chairs waiting five hours to get a shot or you can do it our way and do it more methodically, so you can’t compare those.”

“Whether it’s testing or contact tracing or vaccinations, we are building the plane as we are flying it. No one who wants to get through the pandemic faster than those at this table. We are trying to increase the number of vaccines going in arms on a daily basis,” said Palm.

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