State health officials say they are ready to move forward with the second half of Phase 1B next week — and educators will be first in line.
Now that nearly half of Wisconsinites ages 65 and up have received their first dose of vaccine, "we are definitely moving forward with March 1," DHS deputy secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said at a press briefing Tuesday.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is encouraging providers to vaccinate people in Phase 1B based on a specific order established last month when the department finalized which groups would be eligible for the phase. The groups, in priority order, are:
- Education and child care workers
- People in Medicaid long-term care programs such as IRIS and Family Care
- Public-facing essential workers, such as 911 operators, public transit workers, utility workers and food supply chain workers, including agricultural workers and retail food workers
- Non-frontline health care personnel
- People in congregate living, such as those in mental health institutions or people who are incarcerated
- Mink husbandry workers
Some advocates have questioned how groups were prioritized. Disability Rights Wisconsin attorney Mitchell Hagopian, who sits on the DHS volunteer vaccine advisory committee, said state health officials ranked the sub-groups in Phase 1B without input from the committee.