Wisconsin to open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to residents 65+ next week

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2021, file photo, Aspen Valley Hospital clinical pharmacist Kelly Atkinson organizes the empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the command unit trailer set up next to the vaccination tent in the Benedict Music Tent parking lot in Aspen, Colo. Photo: Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times via AP. FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2021, file photo, Aspen Valley Hospital clinical pharmacist Kelly Atkinson organizes the empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the command unit trailer set up next to the vaccination tent in the Benedict Music Tent parking lot in Aspen, Colo.

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: January 19, 2021 09:49 AM
Created: January 19, 2021 09:39 AM

Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced that it will make anyone 65 years of age and older eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning on Jan. 25.

Currently, only front-line health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities and police and fire personnel are eligible.

According to DHS, about 700,000 Wisconsinites are 65 and older.

As DHS continues to vaccinate Wisconsinites, the state is asking people to be patient, as the state only receives about 70,000 doses of the vaccines each week.

"Older adults have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, and prioritizing this population will help save lives, DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said. "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."

Minnesota launches vaccine pilot program targeting schools, child care, 65+ populations

The move comes after a change in federal guidance last week.

On Monday, Minnesota also announced it would begin opening up vaccinations to residents 65 and older.


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