Evers expects Wisconsin vaccine rollout to speed up after feds release restriction on doses

MADISON, Wis. — Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature are continuing their criticism of Gov. Tony Evers’ handing of the coronavirus vaccine rollout.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, sent a letter to the governor Wednesday outlining their concerns with how Wisconsin is doing, especially compared to other Midwestern states.

“If your administration is in fact implementing a distribution plan, it is time to review and reevaluate – this is unacceptable,” the pair wrote.

The governor told News 3 Now Wednesday that his administration is doing the best it can, but it was held back by federal requirements that had the state reserve a certain number of doses. Evers said after a conversation he and other Midwestern governors had with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday, that is no longer the case.

He believes the change in policy will speed things up.

“It means we’re going to have to set up much more larger groups to be brought in,” Evers said. “We can do that. It was a matter of making sure we had enough second doses. That’s been taken care of.”

Evers said he expects the process to still be somewhat clunky though given how many doses the state has to give out. He said he wants to avoid what he’s seen in other states where people have to wait in long lines to be vaccinated.

“There will be hiccups from time to time,” he said. “We had a pharmacist that decided to go rogue in the eastern part of the state. We just have to understand that this is not going to be an easy slog.”

Vos also criticized the governor for a potential policy that would allow prisoners to be vaccinated in one of the next groups, “before your 65-year-old grandma,” he said.

He encouraged Wisconsinites to submit their thoughts on that to the Department of Health Services as they take public comment on the rollout plan.