Vaccines For Age 16 and Up Coming Before May 1
Broad rollout of vaccine eligibility will be moved up sooner says top state health official.
Wisconsinites 16 years and older will likely be eligible for a coronavirus vaccine before May 1 — the date state health officials originally predicted for a broad rollout — according to Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk.
Speaking to the Milwaukee Press Club Monday, Willems Van Dijk said she expects an announcement to come “very soon,” about moving up the date for eligibility.
The state has administered more than 2.7 million vaccine doses and more than 29 percent of residents have received at least one dose. More than 1 million Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated.
Willems Van Dijk said the rollout dates have been a moving target because of uncertainty surrounding the allotment of vaccine doses the state was getting from the federal government.
In the beginning, the state and health care providers would know on Tuesday or Wednesday what they could order on Thursday for the following week, Willems Van Dijk said. But by the end of January, providers started knowing two or sometimes three weeks in advance, she said.
“Frankly in the beginning, I didn’t trust their estimates,” Willems Van Dijk said. “To their credit, they’ve been very accurate.”
Wisconsin is set to receive a record 342,000 doses this week.
Meanwhile, the statewide mask mandate issued by Gov. Tony Evers in February is set to expire April 5. When asked, Willems Van Dijk didn’t give any indication if the governor plans to issue another one.
“Those are policy questions that are currently under consideration,” she said.
Even if Evers doesn’t extend the order, local governments could still impose their own ordinances.
Listen to the WPR report here.
All Wisconsinites 16 And Up Could Be Vaccine Eligible Before May 1 was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
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