Wisconsin to prioritize teachers, child care staff among new vaccine groups

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Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 12:53 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin is prioritizing teachers and child care staff as new groups become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on March 1.

Education and child care will jump to the head of the line of the new groups and be vaccinated in March and early April.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says the remaining groups can anticipate vaccinations in April and May.

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Those remaining groups include people enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs, some public-facing essential workers, non-frontline health care workers, and people in congregant living settings.

The state announced in January that all of these groups would be eligible starting March 1, and increase in 700,000 people eligible for the vaccine.

DHS says the state’s allocation of vaccine from the federal government is expected to increase on March 1. However, supply is still limited. That’s the reason for prioritizing teachers and child care.

“Part of bouncing back from this pandemic means protecting all the educators and essential workers, many of whom have been putting their health at risk throughout this pandemic,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “With more than 1,281,903 doses of the vaccine already administered, we are working quickly to get more shots in arms as we have supply available. While our supply is still not enough for us to vaccinate at the rate we all want, we’re going to keep working around the clock to get folks vaccinated as quickly as we can.”

The state says it has vaccinated nearly 50 percent of residents 65 and older.

“Everyone included in these newly eligible groups will eventually have the opportunity to get vaccinated, but we are asking everyone to practice patience and wait to schedule an appointment in order to allow those at higher risk to get vaccinated first,” said DHS Interim Secretary Karen Timberlake. “Workers who are more likely to come in contact with the public or who are unable to avoid close contact with others are at higher risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.”

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