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VACCINE Q&A: Why is DHS adding more eligible groups if not everyone 65+ has gotten vaccinated?

The NBC15 Vaccine Team is answering your questions about the next groups eligible to get the vaccine.
Published: Feb. 28, 2021 at 5:00 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The NBC15 Vaccine Team is answering your questions about the next groups eligible to get the vaccine. You can find a full list of NBC15 Vaccine Team Q&A’s HERE.

On Monday, March 1st anyone over 65 years old, teachers, and childcare workers will first in line to get the COVID-19 vaccine. DHS announced the new eligible groups last Thursday.

Answer: Health officials want to keep pace with increasing supply.

CLICK HERE to submit your own question.

Health officials say it’s crucial for Wisconsin to keep growing the size of the eligible population as more doses are distributed each week.

“This increasing supply is why it’s important to add more people into the eligible populations,” said Julie Willems Van Dijk, DHS Deputy Secretary. “To avoid having vaccine wait on shelf, but instead continue our pace of getting shots in arms.”

DHS says about 50 percent of the 65 and older group are already vaccinated.

“We are adding more groups but you don’t lose eligibility once you have it,” said Van Dijk.

The other groups eligible as of March 1st include:

  • Individuals enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs
  • Some public-facing frontline workers like those in food service or public transit
  • Non-frontline essential health care personnel
  • Facility staff and residents in congregate living settings, including inmates.

DHS has said because ages 65 and older, teachers, and child care workers are taking priority, these groups shouldn’t expect to be vaccinated until mid-April or even May.

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