UW-Health to distribute Pfizer vaccine to front-line workers when approved.

Like Pfizer, Biotech company Moderna’s highly effective COVID-19 vaccine also applied for an Emergency Use Authorization with the FDA. Image courtesy of the CDC, public domain.

Author: Jessica Gregory

UW-Health announced Monday that they will serve as a regional storing site for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), UW-Health will distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to health systems and long-term care facilities where the most vulnerable populations are located.

With the capability to store Pfizer’s vaccine in its ultra-cold freezers, UW-Health has the necessary resources and large number of employees for an efficient operation.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will assess Pfizer’s request for an Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) this Thursday.

On their YouTube channel, Senior Medical Director of Ambulatory Operations Matt Anderson discusses UW-Health’s plan for managing the vaccine and its distribution plans. Once emergency use is authorized, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will be given to front-line workers. According to both Dr. Anderson and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the general public may not receive the vaccine as quickly as desired.

“It is likely to be months before we have access to vaccines more broadly,” Dr. Anderson said. “We as a healthcare system need to continue to provide care for those patients who need us on an acute and other care need basis.”

Dr. Anderson respectfully asked Wisconsinites to refrain from calling UW-Health about waitlists to receive the vaccine. He assures the public that more information regarding a wide distribution will come when it is available.

The CDC proves to be a step ahead with a guide already released to prepare the public as preparation for a mass distribution. Their “8 Things to Know About Vaccine Planning” lists safety as the top priority and covers who is affected first, what an Emergency Use Authorization is, when a COVID-19 vaccination should be expected, where they will be distributed and how people will afford the vaccine (they are free).

Health officials recommend continuing to follow Gov. Evers’ public health emergency orders and the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.

Read UW-Health’s full press release here.