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Wisconsin will vastly expand Covid-19 vaccine eligibility on March 29

vaccine
Lisa Ferdinando
/
Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Wisconsin's Covid-19 vaccine distribution effort has ramped up considerably in the last few weeks, and it's about to ramp up even more. Starting March 29, individuals 16 and older with many preexisting conditions will be eligible for a vaccine -- a move that will make about 2 million more people eligible.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, individuals 16 and older with the following medical conditions will be eligible starting March 29:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cancer
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Liver disease
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Obesity (body mass index of 30-39 kg/m2)
  • Overweight (BMI of 25-29 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2 or more)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
The Pfizer vaccine | Photo credit: Lisa Ferdinando/Wikimedia Commons

Residents can visit the state's Covid-19 vaccine options page or call the toll free vaccine hotline at 1-844-684-1064 to learn how and where they can get vaccinated.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services now expects that everybody in the state will be eligible for a vaccine sometime in May.

“Wisconsin continues to be a national leader in vaccinations and we are excited to open up eligibility to more Wisconsinites,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement. “I know this past year has been rough for everyone and I want to thank folks for stepping up and doing their part to protect themselves and loved ones from Covid-19. We urge those eligible and at highest risk to get vaccinated because each shot in arms means we are one step closer to getting back to our Wisconsin way of life.”

Currently three vaccines have been approved, all of which have proven enormously effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death due to Covid-19.

“These vaccines are saving lives,” Wisconsin Department of Health Interim Secretary Karen Timberlake said in a statement.