MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Health (DHS) on Tuesday announced that educators and child care workers are among the groups that will tentatively be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 1.

Racine County COVID-19 Dashboard

However, officials cautioned that the start date is dependent on the COVID-19 vaccine supply that Wisconsin receives from the federal government.

The state selected the groups after review and consideration from the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC). The vaccination decisions are based on populations with an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 and those more vulnerable to severe complications from the virus.

Next groups identified

Future eligible populations for the COVID-19 vaccine include (in priority order): 

  • Educators and child care workers.
  • Individuals enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs.
  • Some public-facing essential workers like food supply, public transit, utility and communications infrastructure, and 911 operators.
  • Non-frontline health care essential personnel.
  • Congregate living facility staff and residents.

COVID-19 vaccine demand now outstrips supply

“Currently, the amount of vaccine allocated to Wisconsin does not meet the amount of vaccine doses requested by vaccine providers,” DHS stated in a news release. “The start date for vaccinations was determined given the current trend of Wisconsin’s weekly vaccine allocations. If the federal government increases our weekly vaccine allocation, vaccinations for these groups may begin before March 1. If Wisconsin receives less vaccine than expected in the coming weeks, this date could be pushed back.”

Residents are encouraged to use the Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine website to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. Visit: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine.htm

Age 65+ Patience Appreciated

Although Wisconsin residents ages 65+ became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, it’s going to take a while before everyone can be vaccinated.

Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave urged patience in his “Constituents’ Corner” e-newsletter issued this week.

“For those ages 65+, please note there are 28,822 residents of Racine County and 700,000 residents of Wisconsin who fall into the 65+ age group, but Wisconsin is only receiving about 70,000 first doses per week. Not everyone in this age group will be able to be vaccinated immediately, so we appreciate everyone’s patience,” he wrote.

Delagrave reported that residents, age 65+ who have a local healthcare provider, will be contacted by that healthcare provider to schedule an appointment. The appointment scheduling is based on vaccine availability and each individual’s eligibility. Residents are asked to visit their provider’s website for more instructions.

Racine County residents aged 65+ may also receive vaccine update information, including known vaccination clinics, by going to  https://crchd.com/covid-19-vaccine and clicking on the “Vaccines Updates Email Sign Up” button to complete a request for information. Once your information is received, you will be added to an email distribution list for vaccine updates and information. Completing this form does not guarantee a public health department will vaccinate you due to vaccine availability.

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:...