MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Everyone over age 65 in Wisconsin will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting on Monday, the state Department of Health Services said Tuesday.
However, the department cautioned that the speed at which people in that group will be vaccinated will depend on how much vaccine the state receives from the federal government. There are about 700,000 people over age 65 and the state receives about 70,000 doses of first-dose vaccine each week.
“Older adults have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and prioritizing this population will help save lives,” said DHS Secretary designee Andrea Palm. The announcement came the day before Palm was resigning to become the deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Those over 65 join frontline health care workers, those in long-term care facilities, police and fire personnel in being eligible for the vaccine in Wisconsin.
A state committee last week had recommended those over age 70 be in the next group of those to be vaccinated, along with teachers, child care workers, prisoners and others who live in congregate settings. The full recommendations will be voted on later this week, the state health department said.
People over age 65 will be able to get vaccinated through their health care provider, pharmacy, or local or tribal public health agency. They may also get vaccinated sooner if their provider has already inoculated previously eligible population, the health department said.