Health Care Providers among First to Receive
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.
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health of the communities it serves in northeast and central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to more than 600,000 residents in 17 counties and employs approximately 7,000 health care professionals. ThedaCare has 180 points of care, including seven hospitals. As an organization committed to being a leader in Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering people to live their best lives through easy access to individualized care, supporting each person’s own health and wellbeing. ThedaCare also partners with communities to understand unique needs, finding solutions together, and encouraging health awareness and action. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit health system with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, as well as primary care.
For more information, visit thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on social media. Members of the media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public and Media Relations Consultant at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.