Teachers, child care emphasized in committee’s Phase 1B vaccine recommendations

The State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC) finalized its list of who should be included in Phase 1B on Thursday.
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David Crigger

MADISON, Wis. — The State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC) finalized its list of who should be included in Phase 1B on Thursday.

The list includes:

  • 911 operators
  • Utility employees
  • Teachers and child care workers
  • Bus drivers and other public transit workers
  • Grocery store employees
  • Non-frontline health care personnel
  • Mink farmers
  • IRIS and Family Care recipients
  • People in congregate living, including homeless shelters and prisons

SDMAC members decided to give special emphasis to teachers and child care workers, which would likely put them next in line. CBS58 reports their rationale was many teachers work closely to children, who won’t be vaccinated any time soon.

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services will now review SDMAC’s recommendations. Deputy Secretary Julie Williems Van Dijk said the department will publish the final list for Phase 1B early next week.

The state had already approved police and firefighters for Phase 1B. Adults ages 65 and up will be able to start getting vaccine doses on Monday. As more people become eligible to get the vaccines, Governor Evers is asking Wisconsinites to be patient. The DHS said Wisconsin gets 70,000 doses a week. That amount won’t change for at least a month, meaning more people will be vying for a limited amount of doses. The Governor blamed the federal government for the lag. He said distribution depends on how many doses the state can get from it. According to the CDC, Wisconsin is the sixth-slowest state in the U.S. for vaccine distribution per capita. Wisconsin set its single-day record for vaccinations on Thursday, with 22,072 administered in 24 hours.

The state’s vaccine subcommittee sorted through more than 5,000 public comments to help guide its decision. If the list is approved, about 45 percent of Wisconsin adults will be included under Phase 1A and Phase 1B.