Subcommittee begins discussions about Phase 1C of COVID19 vaccine allocation

Posted at 12:13 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 13:54:42-05

MILWAUKEE — With plans for vaccine roll out among the roughly 1.6 million Wisconsinites included under phase 1B now in place, Wisconsin's State Medical Disaster Advisory Committee's (SDMAC) Vaccine Subcommittee met on Friday to discuss who might be prioritized among the next phase of individuals eligible for a vaccine dose - Phase 1C.

"The good news is, this is going to be a smaller lift, I'm hoping," said Jon Temte, the co-chair of the vaccine subcommittee.

The group, following recommendations by the CDC, is now looking into prioritizing people ages 16 to 64 with chronic underlying health conditions as the highest priority in Phase 1C.

During the meeting Friday, other people working essential jobs were also talked about as potentially receiving prioritization.

Those included court personnel, such as public defenders, zoo and animal workers, municipal workers such as librarians, and those who work in the manufacturing industry.

"I would think maybe for 1C we try to keep it simple, elegant, and feasible," said Tom Harter, a vaccine subcommittee member.

He shared the idea of limiting phase 1C to ages 50 and older and to those with chronic health conditions.

Members of the committee suggesting that the biggest question now becomes how the state plans to reach all of those awaiting vaccines, as Wisconsin's supply remains limited.

"It's a matter of the hope that we are going to have a lot of vaccines," said Temte. "There's a lot of research that is now being compiled into the whole distribution system, between using national guard resources, additional funds being released to states, and so on. So, I am hoping we are going to see a rapid increase in the ability to vaccinate individuals."

It is still too soon to know who exactly will be included in Phase 1C and how vaccine allocation will be prioritized. It appears that the age group of 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions is the highest priority right now.

The group meets again next week to continue their discussions.

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