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Providers waiting on CDC guidance as Pfizer vaccine gets approved for children 5 to 11

Wisconsin DHS

COVID-19 case levels are steady and high in Wisconsin.

For nearly two weeks now, the state has been averaging about 18-hundred cases a day.

That’s down significantly from the 3,000 cases a day we were seeing a month ago.

Wisconsin Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard says levels are still too high.

“We have seen few favorable changes. There are now fewer counties critically high category that in previous weeks, but our goal for all Wisconsin counties to have low disease activity,” he said.

Price County is one of four in state at the “Critically High” COVID activity level. This means it’s averaging more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents.

All other counties in our region are in the “Very High” COVID activity level as of Wednesday afternoon.

Westergaard said the sustained high levels of COVID are putting sever pressure on our hospital systems.

“Many of our hospitals are operating at capacity or will be at capacity in the coming weeks or potential days,” he said.

DHS is hoping that the latest vaccine availability will help bring case numbers down.

The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for children 5 to 11 years old.

Providers are just waiting on the CDC guidance and training before giving out shots.

“Getting your child vaccinated against COVID-19 not only helps protect them from long-term symptoms of COVID-19, but it also protects those around them: their family, their friends, classmates and teachers. We are urging parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated as soon as they can,” said Westergaard.

DHS said the state has been allotted 170,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for kids this first week.

It’s being distributed to providers throughout the state.

“We don’t know how many doses we will be receiving in subsequent weeks, but CDC does reassure us that there is sufficient vaccine and it will be distributed on a pro rata basis,” said Dr. Stephanie Schauer, Division of Public Health Immunization Program Manager.

The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart for full protection.

You can use vaccine.gov to find an appointment.

WXPR will also keep you up to date as local providers release more information on where you can get children vaccinated.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.