COVID-19 Vaccine Update from the City of Watertown and Watertown Regional Medical Center

March 2, 2021

Watertown, WI – The City of Watertown, Watertown Regional Medical Center, local health institutions, and local pharmacies would like to provide an update to the community on current COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and guidelines. 

On March 1, 2021, individuals in phase 1B, which includes educators and child care staff, became eligible for COVID-19 vaccination across the state. Although this new group has been deemed eligible to receive the vaccine, the process for those eligible has not changed. Phase 1A individuals, including those aged 65 or older who have not yet received their vaccine will continue to be prioritized. 

“In Watertown, there are approximately 2,000 individuals over the age of 65 who are still eligible to receive their vaccine,” said Carol Quest, Health Director – Watertown Department of Public Health. “If you are a member of this group, we know you are waiting and we will continue to vaccinate you as we receive additional supply.” 

Based on guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Phase 1B prioritizes educators and child care staff, but also adds the following groups to those who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine: 

  • Individuals enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs
  • Some public facing essential workers
  • Non-frontline essential health care personnel
  • Congregate living facility staff and residents

It is expected that educators and child care staff will be vaccinated throughout March and April. If you are a member of this group, we recommend talking to your employer as they will be working with vaccinators in the community to schedule appointments. If you are an unaffiliated child care provider, please reach out to Watertown Public Health for more information on eligibility.

All other individuals in phase 1B that live, work, or study in Wisconsin can anticipate receiving the vaccine in April and May. These individuals, along with those currently eligible in phase 1A should work with their Primary Care Provider or local pharmacy to sign-up for receiving the vaccine. If they don’t have access to these services, a clinic is available through Watertown Public Health and can be signed-up for every Monday at 6pm via their online portal.

As Wisconsin moves into Phase 1B, supply concerns continue to be an issue. However, on Saturday, February 27, a third vaccine, developed by Johnson and Johnson was approved by the FDA for emergency use, expanding the availability of vaccines.

“We are working hard to give the vaccines we’ve been issued, without wasting any doses,” said Suzanne Feuling, Director of Quality and Patient Safety, Watertown Regional Medical Center. “The addition of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is another big step in the right direction.”

While vaccine distribution continues, it’s important to continue to be diligent and continue everyday precautions including washing your hands frequently, wearing your mask and practicing social distancing. Please get tested and stay home if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection. This will help us to manage any additional spread of the virus while vaccination efforts continue.