Graham Kilmer

General Population Eligible for Vaccine April 5th

State opens vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and older a month ahead of schedule.

By - Mar 30th, 2021 05:21 pm
COVID-19 vaccine. Pixabay License Free for commercial use No attribution required

COVID-19 vaccine. (Pixabay License).

Governor Tony Evers announced Tuesday that all Wisconsin residents aged 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine beginning April 5th.

Earlier in March, President Joe Biden announced the federal government would direct states to make the general population eligible for the vaccine by May 1st. Until now, the state has stuck with that timeline.

A statement from the governor’s office said advancing the eligibility timeline a month was made possible by the steadily increasing supply and pace of vaccination.

“We knew all along our COVID-19 vaccination program would be a massive undertaking,” Evers said, adding that expanding the vaccine to the general public is a “major milestone” in the state’s fight against the pandemic.

So far, nearly 30% of the state has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 17.4% of state residents have completed the vaccination process, according to data from the state Department of Health Services (DHS).

Even once everyone becomes eligible, vaccine providers will still prioritize people that were previously made eligible because of their job, their age or health conditions. Not all communities will have the same level of vaccine availability. Some may have many openings while others have wait lists, said Karen Timberlake, Wisconsin DHS secretary-designee.

In Milwaukee, like other communities around the state, there are a number of ways to get vaccinated. The health department, pharmacies and local health systems are all providing vaccination.

Seven new pharmacies were recently added to the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, which provides a direct supply of vaccine to the pharmacies. Those include Costco, CVS, Hy-Vee, Good Neighbor and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, Health Mart, Medicine Shoppe and Cardinal Health, and Topco.

With this expansion, 595 pharmacies can order up to 95,000 first doses of vaccine from the federal government.

To register for a vaccine or make an appointment check the website or call your local pharmacy or healthcare provider. In Milwaukee, you can sign up for the vaccine at a vaccine site run by the health department by visiting the city’s vaccine website or calling 414-286-6800.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also operating a vaccination site at the Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., that is open to residents of the entire state.

The state has an interactive map of vaccine providers that it updates every two weeks and a vaccine hotline which includes Spanish, Hmong, Chinese Mandarin, Hindi and Somali language speakers.

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Categories: Health, Weekly

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