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MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), on Tuesday, moved up by one week the date that residents with certain medical conditions will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. So, the start date, which had been March 29, is now next Monday (March 22).

The next eligibility group includes individuals age 16 and over with the following medical conditions:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cancer
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from a solid organ transplant, blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Liver disease
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30-39 kg/m2)
  • Overweight (BMI of 25-29 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2 or more)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)

The DHS on Tuesday also clarified that all clergy (as part of health care personnel who provide spiritual care to the sick), restaurant workers (as part of the food supply eligibility group) are among the groups now eligible for the vaccine. Also, the public safety eligibility group now includes judges, prosecutors, and other essential criminal court personnel, in addition to public defenders.

Depending on vaccine supply, the DHS still anticipates that Wisconsin will expand eligibility on May 1 to include all individuals age 16 and older. Further, the DHS will continue to monitor vaccination coverage statewide and partner with vaccine providers to offer an updated vaccination timeline for the general public. 

Visit the Wisconsin COVID-19 vaccine options page or call the toll-free vaccine hotline at 1-844-684-1064 to learn more about receiving a vaccine.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...

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