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DHS Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility For Next Groups

Today the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced the next groups that will be eligible for vaccinations following the currently eligible populations.

As a reminder, as of yesterday, January 25th, the following populations of Wisconsinites are currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Frontline health care personnel
  • Residents in skilled nursing and long-term care facilities
  • Police and fire personnel, correctional staff
  • Adults ages 65 and over

Beginning on March 1st (pending Wisconsin’s vaccine supply from the federal government) the following groups will be eligible for the vaccine. According to DHS Wisconsin is currently receiving about 70,000 first-time vaccine doses per week.

Below is a description of “who is in that group” and “who the primary suggested vaccinating entity” for that group is. For many of the categories, the suggested vaccinating entity is the local public health department, health care provider, pharmacy or community clinic.

Education and childcare

Who is in this group?
  • All staff in regulated childcare, public and private school programs, out-of-school time programs, virtual learning support, and community learning center programs.
  • All staff in Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs.
  • All staff in preschool and Head Start through K-12 education settings.
  • Faculty and staff in higher education settings who have direct student contact.
Where will they be vaccinated? Primary vaccinating entity: School health care staff, arrangements for on-site vaccination with health care systems, pharmacies, or local health departments

Other options: Individual appointments with health care providers or pharmacies or community-based clinics

Individuals enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs

Who is in this group?
Where will they be vaccinated? Primary vaccinator: Health care providers and pharmacies

Other options: Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program

Some public-facing essential workers

Who is in this group?
  • 911 operators
  • Utility and communications infrastructure
    • Workers who cannot socially distance and are responsible for the fundamental processes and facilities that ensure electric, natural gas, steam, water, wastewater, internet, and telecommunications services are built, maintained, generated, distributed, and delivered to customers.
  • Public Transit
    • Drivers who have frequent close contact with members of the public, limited to:
      • public and commercial intercity bus transportation services
      • municipal public transit services
      • those employed by specialized transit services for seniors, disabled persons, and low-income persons
  • Food Supply Chain
    • Agricultural production workers, such as farm owners and other farm employees.
    • Critical workers who provide on-site support to multiple agricultural operations, such as livestock breeding and insemination providers, farm labor contractors, crop support providers, and livestock veterinarians.
    • Food production workers, such as dairy plant employees, fruit and vegetable processing plant employees, and animal slaughtering and processing employees.
    • Retail food workers, such as employees at grocery stores, convenience stores, and gas stations that also sell groceries.
    • Hunger relief personnel, including people involved in charitable food distribution, community food and housing providers, social services employees who are involved in food distribution, and emergency relief workers.

 

Where will they be vaccinated? Primary vaccinating entity: Arrangements for on-site vaccination with health care systems, pharmacies, or local health departments

Other options: Health care providers, pharmacies, or community-based clinics

Non-frontline essential health care personnel

Who is in this group? SDMAC defines non-frontline essential health care personnel as personnel who are not involved in direct patient care but are essential for health system infrastructure. These staff are often affiliated with hospitals, but non-hospital employee non-frontline employees are also included.

Categories of non-frontline essential health care personnel job titles and settings include:

•     Public health

•     Emergency management

•     Cyber security

•     Health care critical supply chain functions, including the production, manufacturing, and distribution of vaccine

•     Support roles, such as cleaning, HVAC, and refrigeration, critical to health system function

Where will they be vaccinated? Primary vaccinating entity: Employer or health care provider

Other options: Local health departments may assist in identifying vaccination options for these workers.

Facility staff and residents in congregate living settings

Who is in this group? Staff and residents of congregate living facilities. Some settings in this group may be non-voluntary or provide services to marginalized populations – meaning residents do not have the resources or choice to mitigate exposure. According to SDMAC’s guidance, congregate living facility staff and residents include those living or working in:

•     Employer-based housing: Housing provided by an employer for three or more unrelated individuals that share bedrooms.

•     Housing serving the elderly or people with disabilities: Residents of housing that meets the definitions of an adult family home, independent living apartments, community-based residential facility, residential care complex, state center for the disabled, mental health institute, and county-based center for the disabled.

•     Shelters: Shelter provided to those who are homeless and/or in need of protection (for example, domestic violence shelters).

•     Transitional housing: A project that is designed to provide housing and appropriate supportive services to homeless persons to facilitate movement to independent living when such facilities include shared bedrooms.

Incarcerated individuals: Individuals in jails, prisons, and mental health institutes.

Where will they be vaccinated? Primary vaccinating entity: Employer provided or arrangements for on-site vaccination with health care systems, pharmacies, or local health departments

Other options: Health care providers, pharmacies, or community-based clinics

 

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