Wisconsin residents 65 and older next in line to receive COVID-19 vaccine

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announces people 65 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday.
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 7:21 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -Good news for the age group doctors say is hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a green light from DHS to begin vaccinating subgroup 1B next week, approximately 700,000 Wisconsinites will meet the age requirement of being 65 years of age or older.

Dr. Ashok Rai, president and CEO of Prevea Health, says they are excited to finally get to vaccinate the population they’ve been most concerned about.

“As we look at the tragic losses across the country and even in our own areas and those who get hospitalized or those who lose their life obviously 65 and older is the largest portion of that,” says Rai.

Anyone in that 1B group can schedule an appointment through Prevea’s website now, and get their shot starting next week at Sacred Heart.

“As of February 1st, we’ll move to our much larger site at Jacob’s Well and hopefully will continue to grow our presence at that site as well, they’ve been great to lease us some space so we can do this on a larger scale,” says Rai.

Miriam Gehler, Marshfield Clinic Health System administrative director, says they will have a set number of availabilities, on-site at 2116 Craig Road.

“You can go to Marshfield Clinic Health System’s website and that’s probably the best way to do it if you can and there’s a quick survey you take and then we get you scheduled,” exclaims Gehler.

Eau Claire City-County Health Department director Lieske Giese urges the public to have patience with the process, as Wisconsin currently receives around 70,000 first-dose vaccines per week.

“Our supply does not match the demand that we will have for that 65 and older population and it’s an important reminder,” says Giese. “In Eau Claire we are ready to go with the capacity to give vaccine by all the providers that we have, that are really ready to go, and we don’t have enough supply.”

“Now that it’s been opened up to that larger subgroup we will be reporting back to the state saying here’s our demand can we get this number of vaccines next week ,” explains Gehler.

She reminds the public, you do not need to be a patient of Marshfield Clinic Health System to sign up through their website.

“Can you see the glow? We are excited! Just again to be able to offer it to community, we were excited to get it for first responders and we were anxiously waiting for this next step,” says Gehler.

Mayo Clinic Health System says they will contact patients when they are eligible to schedule an appointment, which will also be contingent on the number of available doses.

Mayo Clinic Health System patients can prepare to receive timely updates by creating a Patient Online Services account.

Giese says the COVID-19 Eau Claire webpage will be updated by this Thursday or Friday, to serve as a one-stop-shop for those eligible residents to get connected with an area health provider.

The health department suggests that the public start with their regular doctor first.

The full recommendations for the rest of 1B eligibility will be voted on later this week by the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC).

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