Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise believes the jury is still out on a vaccination strategy floated by Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman last week. Grothman cited an Israeli study that showed that one dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be up to 85 percent effective in protecting against infection up to a month after inoculation. He also pointed out that in the United Kingdom, where the strategy is also being employed, that death and case rates are lower than in the United States. He is calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Health to further consider the single-dose strategy in efforts to get more people vaccines. Heise understands the thought process, but he believes a second-dose is still needed.
Heise stresses people use patience as vaccine phases begin to open up further and production ramps up. The state is expected to receive 48,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week, though those are primarily earmarked for teachers and childcare workers. The state announced Monday it would declare plans later this week to make the vaccine available to approximately 2 million more people, including those with underlying health conditions.