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Marshfield Clinic Health System will be COVID-19 vaccination hub

Marshfield Clinic Health System will serve as an initial distribution site to serve northcentral Wisconsin in the state “hub-and-spoke” model for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services will provide Marshfield Clinic Health System with the vaccines, which will then be distributed to other health care systems, public health departments, other vaccinating organizations and long-term care facilities.

“Marshfield Clinic Health System has been preparing for a COVID-19 vaccine for the past several months,” said Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO Dr. Susan Turney. “We’ve been deeply engaged with the State Administration’s workgroup, and we are ready to store and administer the vaccine as soon as it is available.”

Vaccines are anticipated to be distributed to the hubs around Dec. 15. Front line health care workers and longterm care facilities will be the first to receive vaccinations after Wisconsin health officials give a final approval to begin administering vaccinations.

Pfizer and Moderna are pharmaceutical companies with applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use of their vaccine. The Health System’s Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield was chosen as a hub because of its ability to store Pfizer’s vaccine, which requires storage at about -80 degrees Celsius.

As for its own vaccination distribution strategy, the Health System anticipates administering vaccines starting in mid-December in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidance on prioritization of individuals to receive COVID-19 vaccination. Fifteen of the Health System’s hospitals and clinics are enrolled with the state as Phase 1A COVID-19 vaccine administrators.

On Dec. 3, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), released recommendations for allocating initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccination. The State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC) will be putting forth further recommendations for the state as it is likely the initial supply of vaccine will be less than needed to vaccinate all those who qualify per CDC recommendations.

The CDC has a useful FAQ website for COVID-19 vaccination questions.