Wisconsin’s next wave of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, known as Phase 1B, begins on March 1st.

“As noted when we announced this group back in January, the top of the priority of the additional eligible groups are our educators and child care providers,” Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said Tuesday.

The state is on pace for its target of getting 50 percent of those 65 and older vaccinated with a first dose, in order to begin Phase 1b, according to Willems Van Dijk.

“We want our kids in school, we know a number of school districts have been in person since early in the year, and we know a number of additional school districts are moving in that direction,” she said. “And we know teachers work every day with a population that is not able to be vaccinated because of their age.”

Willems Van Dijke assured those 65 and older who have yet to receive a first dose that they will. Wisconsin is getting a larger allotment of COVID-19 vaccine. “This week we will have 115,000 first doses to distribute to vaccinators, which is a 64 percent increase from mid-January,” Willems Van Dijk said. “We also know that that we’ll have that same amount . . . for at least the next two weeks.”

Nearly half of people age 65 and over have been vaccinated, and the state plans to open 4 more community clinics over next 2 months

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