Wisconsin adults 65 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccines next week

Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee held a COVID vaccine clinic for frontline workers on Dec. 15. (Photo: Advocate Aurora Health)

Last updated on January 20th, 2021 at 01:21 pm

Adults in Wisconsin ages 65 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning next week.

Currently, frontline health care workers, residents in long-term care facilities and police and fire personnel in the state can receive the vaccine.

Adults 65 and older have been recommended as the next priority group by the federal government and discussed by the committee overseeing Wisconsin’s vaccine distribution phases. The Wisconsin State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee will vote on the recommendations for rest of 1B eligibility later this week.

There are about 700,000 Wisconsin residents who are 65 years and older. They will be eligible starting Jan. 25, and can access the vaccine through their health care provider, pharmacy or local public health agency.

DHS stressed that it will take time to vaccinate that entire population, as the state receives about 70,000 first-dose vaccines per week from the federal government.

“Older adults have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and prioritizing this population will help save lives,” said Wisconsin Department of Health Services secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “Wisconsin systems and operations are ready to vaccinate more people. The amount of vaccine we get from the federal government will determine how quickly we can get these groups vaccinated. Our partners in health care, pharmacies and local public health are ready and up to the task.”

As of Monday, 248,185 vaccines had been administered in Wisconsin.

DHS said vaccinators that have any vaccine on hand can begin to vaccinate those 65 and older before next week if they have concluded 1A populations.

“This is an important next phase of vaccine ramp-up and we appreciate this decision by DHS and the steps it has taken to register more than 1,200 vaccinators, including hospitals, local public health departments, pharmacies, community clinics, and others who will all be needed in these next rounds of the fight,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association president and chief executive officer Eric Borgerding.

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