The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) further expanded Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility on Monday, March 1.

This means the following groups are now eligible (in order of priority):

Education and childcare workers

Individuals enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs

Some public-facing essential workers

Non-frontline essential health care personnel

People in congregate living

Although these groups are now eligible, DHS is advising vaccine providers to prioritize previously eligible groups over new groups that become eligible, with a particular emphasis on people age 65 and older. As of last week, about 47 percent of seniors in the state were reported to have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

With the limited supply of vaccine available nationwide, DHS recommends that educators and childcare workers be prioritized for vaccination among the newly eligible group. It will be dedicating specific vaccine allocations for use with this group and has directed local health departments to manage the associated intake and coordination with vaccinations beginning by March 15.

School districts and childcare employers are encouraged to indicate their vaccination needs through their local and tribal health departments as capacity will vary by county. Some health departments may offer vaccinations directly, while others will continue to coordinate with health systems to provide access to the vaccine.

It is anticipated that vaccinations for the other new groups in Phase 1B may not begin until April or May.

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