HUDSON — With COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opened to residents age 65 and up on Monday, Jan. 25, a trio of western Wisconsin counties said they were partnering with area health care providers to facilitate shots going into arms.

The goal is to make sure the area gets “clear and consistent information” throughout the evolving vaccine distribution process, according to a joint news release from health departments in St. Croix, Pierce and Polk counties.

Do you have a vaccine question? Let us know at rtnews@orourkemediagroup.com

“This partnership is essential in providing consistency in the rollout of vaccines,” St. Croix County Public Health Officer Kelli Engen said. “We are working in an imperfect system but working together will help us provide clear information to so many in our communities that are eager to take the next step in fighting this virus."

Public health officials are meeting weekly with local hospital and health system leaders, she said.

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Here’s the latest vaccine information for Jan. 25, 2021:

Age 65+ now eligible

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced previously that Wisconsinites age 65-plus were eligible for COVID-19 vaccines on Monday, Jan. 25 — BUT prioritization can differ at health care providers, and officials caution that everyone in the age group won’t be able to get their shot on day one.

"We are thrilled by the recent expansion of eligibility to our older populations,” Pierce County Health Officer AZ Snyder said. “However, it is important that we all understand that it will take many weeks to provide a vaccine to everyone in this age group who wants one."

Steps to get vaccinated

  1. Review the information about vaccine phases available on your local county’s website to determine the priority group or phase you are in. (St. Croix County, Pierce County, Polk County)
  2. If you have a health care provider, visit their website and follow the instructions to get a vaccination.
  3. If you do not have a health care provider, visit your county’s website and follow the instructions to get a vaccination.
  4. You will be notified by your health care provider or county health department when a vaccine is available for you.
  5. Review the next steps you should take after getting a vaccine from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website.

Vaccination phases

Vaccinations will take place over the course of three phases, spread out over the coming weeks and months. Those groups at highest risk of getting COVID-19 will be vaccinated first.

Phase 1

  • Phase 1A: Healthcare workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • Phase 1B: Essential workers and individuals 65 years and older
  • Phase 1C: Individuals with underlying health conditions

Phase 2: Remainder of Phase 1 and critical and general populations

Phase 3: Remainder of Phases 1 and 2 and critical and general populations

Vaccine safety

The three county health departments said the country’s vaccine safety process ensures vaccines are as safe as possible.

“Clinical trials are conducted with thousands of participants for each approved vaccine and are continuously monitored for safety,” according to the news release Jan. 25.

More information

Additional vaccine information and updates are provided on the websites of health care providers and the county health departments, or by phone.

Find links and contact details below:

Regional Health care providers

County websites

Find more coronavirus coverage at www.rivertowns.net/newsmd/coronavirus