COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands Monday across Wisconsin

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands in Wisconsin on Monday, March 22.

Group 1C is now eligible for a vaccine. Governor Tony Evers and the Department of Health Services opened eligibility to people 16 years old and up. Qualifying medical conditions include asthma, cancer, diabetes, down syndrome, heart conditions and many others.

In Milwaukee County, people living in certain ZIP codes can now also get the vaccine. It’s an effort to decrease racial disparity and increase vaccine equity.

The clinics are going off the honor system and simply asking people for their address.

“I pertain to 53215,” says Ethiel Vega-Padilla, who received his first dose at the South Division High School clinic. “I didn’t know that the area code in itself was so affected by the positive cases, so when I hear that that kind of made the decision for myself to get vaccinated.”

Vega-Padilla’s ZIP code alone had more than 10,000 positive cases of COVID-19. It’s also one of 10 ZIPcodes with the highest vulnerability. That’s why officials have opened up the mass vaccination sites at North and South Division High Schools to help serve those populations.

“Which ever shot you can get in your arm is the best shot for you,” says County Executive David Crowley. “It doesn’t matter where you go, we just want to make sure that we can get to that herd immunity.”

Eligibility is based off the honor system. As long as the person is over the age of 18, they can just fill out a form providing their address which verifies their residency in one of the 10 ZIP codes. This also includes those with a severe illness.

“He has MS,” says Sonia Her, who took a relative Monday morning to North Division High School for their first dose. “Since he didn’t meet the 65 and older requirement we had to wait, and so when we heard that they were opening up for the ZIP code program we were really excited.”

The sites are staffed by the health department and the National Guard. Officials say each site can vaccinate 600 people per day.

“Now that I have the COVID vaccine, or at least part of it, I’m at liberty to go and do more things for myself then I would have normally done without it.”

Both high school locations are scheduled to stay open through April 19.

You can also still schedule an appointment through Milwaukee.gov/covidvax or covidmke.com.

More information on where you can get a vaccine can be found here

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