COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include some chronically ill
Everyone expected to be eligible beginning in May
By Star Journal Staff
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced Thursday it is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility groups March 29 to include people age 16 and older with some chronic illnesses.
During a media briefing Thursday afternoon, Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said she anticipates opening up the vaccine to everyone sometime in May.
“We have seen a significant increase in vaccine over the last two months and will continue to see that increase, according to our federal partners, and that means we don’t have to do this continuous staging group by group by group,” Willems Van Dijk said. “That’s why we’re opening to this much larger group and then everyone in May.”
She added that the group with chronic conditions is estimated to be approximately 60-65% of Wisconsinites, and is urging employers to have their employees in this category seek out vaccine beginning March 29.
Eligible chronic conditions include asthma, cancer, high blood pressure, heart conditions, obesity or overweight, and those immunocompromised. A full listing is available on the website, dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid19, and click on the vaccine graphic.
“Because of the sheer number, health care providers may need to sub-prioritize within those groups, considering people with severe or unstable conditions, racial or ethnic groups, older age or those with multiple conditions,” Willems Van Dijk said.
Previously eligible individuals who have not yet received a vaccination will remain a priority.