Police, firefighters will soon be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, DHS says

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A member of a mobile vaccination team prepares a Covid-19 vaccination with Pfizer/Biontech vaccine for nursing home residents at a nursing home in Oberammergau, Germany, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.

MADISON, Wis. — Police and firefighters will soon be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced Monday that those first responders will be able to get vaccinated starting Jan. 18. Their vaccinations mark the first step into phase 1B of vaccinations in the state.

“Our systems are up and running, now we need more vaccine to get through as many Wisconsinites who want to protect themselves against COVID-19 as possible,” DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said. “We urge everyone to continue wearing masks, washing hands and socially distancing as we continue to vaccinate more Wisconsinites.”

Local health departments will lead the coordination for the vaccination of police and fire personnel, as well as EMS and unaffiliated health care providers in their jurisdictions, working in partnership with local vaccinators like health care systems and pharmacies. To ensure vaccine access statewide, DHS will also work alongside in coordinating with police and fire associations.

Wisconsin has been vaccinating the 1A population since Dec. 14, 2020, which includes frontline health care workers and residents of long term care facilities including nursing homes and assisted living facilities. There are 1098 entities fully registered and ready to provide COVID-19 vaccines in Wisconsin.