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COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Posted 4/27/2021 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

4/27/21

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – This week is World Immunization Week. For over 200 years, vaccines have protected us against diseases and death. Vaccines play an important role in ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Wood County Health Department encourages everyone, ages 16 and older, to get the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccine clinics are being held on Wednesday at the Marshfield Fairgrounds and Thursday at the South Wood County Airport. If you are interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccine you can, 1) check appointment availability on the Wood County Vaccine Information page to self-schedule or, 2) call 715-421-8931 (for Spanish call 715-421-8936, for Hmong call 715-315-0374). These slots are available on a first come, first served basis. Please complete the consent form in advance of your appointment if you have access to a printer and are able. This will speed up the process at the drive thru vaccine clinic. The Wood County Health Department will begin scaling back on drive thru clinics in both Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield in the month of May.  You can visit vaccinefinder.org to find additional vaccine clinic options near you. 

As of April 26, 28,663 (39.3%) Wood County residents have received at least one dose of vaccine. 76.2% of Wood County residents 65 and older have received at least one dose. Vaccines will help bring the pandemic to an end in combination with wearing a mask, washing your hands, watching your distance and avoiding crowds.

On April 23, a CDC panel recommended that the pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine be lifted. The panel also recommended that a warning label be added to the vaccine packaging noting the very rare blood clotting disorder risk. Based on the panel’s recommendation, the FDA ended the pause; states and local jurisdictions can now resume use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Wisconsin Department of Health Services is now resuming distribution of Johnson & Johnson as of April 27. 

During the 10-day pause, health officials reviewed additional data to determine the level of risk linked with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine related to a blood clotting disorder. During this time, nine more cases of the clotting disorder were found, bringing the total number of known cases to 15 out of 7 million people who got the vaccine. Experts decided to lift the pause due to the benefits of getting the vaccine greatly outweighing the small risk linked with its use. 

People who get COVID infection have a much higher risk for blood clotting compared to those who get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The blood clotting disorder resulting from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is extremely rare. There have been fewer than 1 case per million for men and for women who are 50 years or older. The risk is estimated to be 7 cases per million for women ages 18 to 49. If you already got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and have not developed any of the side effects associated with the blood clotting disorder (severe headache or abdominal pain, shortness of breath, neurological symptoms, leg swelling) within three weeks of being vaccinated, the risk of a negative reaction is unlikely.

Should I get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if I am offered it or should I wait to get Pfizer or Moderna? For most, getting the first vaccine that is available to you is the best option to protect your health. The odds of getting COVID-19 are much higher than your odds of getting serious side effects from the vaccine. The risk of blood clots from COVID illness is 165,000 per million cases.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services or the Centers for Disease Control

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