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Wisconsin to Open COVID-19 Vaccination to People 65 and Older Starting January 25

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Wisconsinites age 65 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning January 25. Wisconsin Department of Health Services made the announced Tuesday. 

Currently, frontline health care workers, residents in long-term care facilities (nursing homes and assisted living facilities), and police and fire personnel are eligible.

There are approximately 700,000 Wisconsinites who are 65 and older and Wisconsin currently receives around 70,000 first-dose vaccines per week from the federal government. It will take time to vaccinate this population in Wisconsin.

“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. “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.”

Adults 65 and older have been recommended by the federal government and discussed by the Wisconsin State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC). COVID-19 has more severe consequences in older adults and prioritizing this population will help protect more Wisconsinites from serious illness and death. The full recommendations from SDMAC on the rest of 1B eligibility will be voted on later this week.

Wisconsinites who are 65 and older will be able to access the vaccine through their health care provider, pharmacy, or local or tribal public health agency. Vaccinating entities with any vaccine on hand can begin to vaccinate this population prior to January 25 if they have concluded the previously eligible populations. Those being vaccinated directly through their health care provider will typically be contacted to schedule an appointment by their health care provider.

In addition to health care providers, and pharmacies, local health departments across the state may have options for community clinics.

Check out WXPR's COVID-19 Vaccine Information page to see how eligible people can schedule an appointment to get vaccinated. 

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