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Everyone 16 and older to be eligible for vaccine on Monday, April 5

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Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 1:17 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2021 at 1:51 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Starting Monday, everyone in Wisconsin who is at least 16 years old will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Tony Evers announced the move in a tweet early Tuesday afternoon, prior to a news conference in which he highlighted the state’s success so far in distributing the vaccine.

When announcing the change, Evers noted the success Wisconsin has had in vaccinating its residents compared with other states. He also highlighted several of the benchmarks the state has surpassed in its efforts to get shots into people’s arms, including how the state has fully vaccinated more than a million of its residents and that more than half of people over 65 years old are fully vaccinated as well.

“Expanding #COVID19 vaccine eligibility today marks a major milestone in our work to overcome this pandemic and bounce back together,” he wrote. “Thank you to all the folks in public health, vaccinators, and staff helping make this possible. Let’s keep it up, Wisconsin!”

While people will be eligible Monday, they may not be able to get their first dose immediately. Places where demand is stronger will likely have waitlists and will likely prioritize people who had been previously eligible, such as healthcare workers and those with certain preexisting conditions, Evers cautioned.

The new April 5 eligibility date is nearly a month earlier than the May 1 deadline Evers previously set for eligibility to expand to all adults, although he had been telegraphing in recent weeks that the date would likely be moved up.

Evers’ move comes as states across the country remove many of the eligibility requirements. Two weeks ago, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the same April 5 date for everyone in her state to be eligible. Illinois residents will have to wait another week, with eligibility opening up there on Monday, April 12.

On this past Monday, Kansas, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas removed all eligibility requirements for people over 16 years old.

This is a breaking news update. NBC15 News will provide updates as they become available.

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