Vaccinations begin for Wisconsin residents 65 and older

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- The COVID-19 vaccine is now in the arms of some Wisconsin residents 65 and older.

That group became eligible for the vaccine as of Monday, Jan. 25.

Ascension in Franklin brought in some of the most vulnerable 65 and older patients to receive the vaccine Monday.

"We have a son that lives in Texas, we haven't seen him for a year now," said Grace Chirico, who received her first dose of the vaccine.

In the midst of a long pandemic, 76-year-old Grace Chirico received a piece of hope when she got the vaccine Monday.

DeeDee Kotarek has been in charge of calling patients to schedule their vaccine appointments.

"I had one patient that wasn't even speaking for a moment and I said are you still there ma'am and she said yes, I just can't believe my time has come."

The time came Monday for nearly 100 people at Ascension in Franklin. 

Other hospital groups have been reaching out to patients. 

A spokesperson for Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin says by Monday afternoon, they expected to have around 15,000 patients scheduled for an appointment for their first vaccine shot.

In Milwaukee County, those without an established health care provider are asked to go to healthymke.com for updates. People can sign up to receive alerts. 

The city of Milwaukee says it won't be vaccinating those 65 and older this week, the goal is to start next week.

Other health departments tell CBS 58 they're still focused on Phase 1a.

The state says there are about 700,000 people in Wisconsin who are 65 and older, so they say it will take some time to vaccinate everyone in that age group that wants one.

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