Wisconsin seniors eligible for COVID-19 vaccine starting next Monday

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — Wisconsin adults over the age of 65 will be eligible starting Monday, Jan. 25, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the Department of Health Services said Tuesday.

“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.”

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.

“Wisconsin hospitals and health systems have been the frontline of the battle against COVID-19 for the past 10 months and are eager to step up again and serve their patients and communities across Wisconsin. They have already administered thousands of vaccines and are anxious to move ahead with vaccinating their older, most at-risk patients,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association President and CEO Eric Borgerding. “This is an important next phase of vaccine ramp-up and we appreciate this decision by DHS and the steps it has taken to register more than 1,200 vaccinators, including hospitals, local public health departments, pharmacies, community clinics, and others who will all be needed in these next rounds of the fight.”

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.

In addition to health care providers, and pharmacies, local health departments across the state may have options for community clinics. Just last week, Governor Evers announced the state of Wisconsin will have nine mobile vaccine units that will work closely with local health departments to help address gaps in access.

As the state continues to expand vaccination efforts, COVID-19 has not gone away. Wisconsinites are still encouraged to mask up, stay physically distant, and wash hands frequently to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep communities safe.