State health officials discuss who will be next in line for COVID-19 vaccine

MILWAUKEE, WI (CBS 58) – State health officials are defining who is next in line for the coronavirus vaccine.

Wisconsin’s phase 1B of the COVID vaccine rollout plan includes correction officers, inmates, people 75 and older, grocery clerks, and teachers.

“That signals to the members that I represent, all across Wisconsin, that they’re valued and that it’s important that we get as many educators vaccinated as early as possible so that we can get our schools back to face-to-face instruction,” said Ron Martin, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC).

Martin says it’s still too early to tell what that rollout plan may look like.

“Our state is determining the rollout for this and they’ve had some issues, and part of that, I think, is lack of direction from the federal government,” said Martin.

On Tuesday, members of the state’s vaccine distribution oversite panel discussed criteria for this phase.

“I think one of the things we can do is make this as simple as possible for implementations just to keep it moving forward as quickly as we can,” said James Conway, one of the members of the panel during Tuesday’s Zoom call.

They admitted the current rollout hasn’t gone as smoothly, adding they haven’t been vaccinating very quickly for the amount the state has been allocated.

“Ultimate point is to get vaccines into arms, the more people that are immunized, the better, but this is the balance that we talk about between the ethics and implementation,” said Rajiv Naik, one of the members during the call.

“So at least we see that little tiny light at end of the tunnel and that gives us hope,” said Martin. “I think that hope will carry us through this school year.”

The vaccine distribution oversight panel says they plan on creating a list of suggestions for the next phase by the end of the week.

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