Tuesday, March 2, 2021

In or out? Subcommittee mulls over vaccine distribution plan

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state committee looking into COVID-19 shots says it might open vaccinations to people 70 and older and limited groups of essential workers once most health care workers and nursing home residents are immunized

Members of a state vaccine committee agreed on slight departures from federal guidelines, which call for moving next to ages 75 and older and more types of essential workers. However, some disagreed on whether to add group home residents and prison and jail inmates, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

A vaccine distribution subcommittee that advises the state Department of Health Services may vote Tuesday on a plan for phase 1b, the next stage of vaccination.

The subcommittee discussed broadening the elderly group to 70 and older but limiting essential workers. If just first responders, educators and corrections workers were included, phase 1b would be about 750,000 people. Workers such as those in public transit, grocery stores and agriculture would add 115,000. Group home residents and inmates would add 100,000.

As of now, Wisconsin is getting about 70,000 doses of vaccine a week from the federal government.

State health officials on Sunday reported 1,832 new virus cases, for a total of 506,890 since the start of the pandemic. There have been two deaths confirmed in the last day and 5,157 cumulative fatalities due to COVID-19.

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