Teachers, childcare workers next in line as COVID-19 vaccine expands to newly eligible groups on Monday

Published: Feb. 28, 2021 at 10:14 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - More people will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, March 1. Anyone 65 and older, teachers and childcare workers are at the front of the line, while others may have to wait weeks.

While individuals 65 and older were already approved to be vaccinated, teachers and childcare workers will be eligible for the first time. These three groups can expect to be vaccinated beginning March and early April, while everyone else in the newly authorized group will likely have to wait until mid-April or May.

Others who will be eligible come Monday, beyond educators and childcare workers, include:

  • Individuals enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs
  • Some public-facing frontline workers like those in food service or public transit
  • Non-frontline essential health care personnel
  • Facility staff and residents in congregate living settings, including inmates.

“Everyone included in these newly eligible groups will eventually have the opportunity to get vaccinated, but we are asking everyone to practice patience and wait to schedule an appointment in order to allow those at higher risk to get vaccinated first,” DHS Interim Secretary Karen Timberlake said.

According to DHS, food chain employees and public transit workers are included in the newly eligible groups.

“Workers who are more likely to come in contact with the public or who are unable to avoid close contact with others are at higher risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19,” Timberlake continued.

The NBC15 Vaccine team asked health officials about how grocery store workers or bus drivers will sign up to receive the vaccine. The state says they are hopeful employers will be actively involved.

“I think one of the things that we will be maximizing as we move into food service workers and transit workers and how utility workers is how can employers help us with thinking through with offering vaccines to their employees,” said Willems Van Dijk.

Health officials have not offered a timeline for when more people in Wisconsin may be able to get the shot.

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