Government at work. From the MacIver Institute.
Another problem facing providers is they can’t give the vaccine to anyone. Only first responders and nursing home residents and staff are currently eligible.
Some providers say they have more doses than people who are on the eligibility list and want the vaccine, according to Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, Assembly Health Committee Chairman. Those providers cannot simply start giving the extra vaccine doses to people lower on the priority list, because DHS is still trying to figure out who should be on that list.
DHS gave the job of creating an eligibility list to its 12-member State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC), which in turn handed it over to its 17-member vaccine subcommittee.
DHS started talking about creating the subcommittee in early October when it first faced up to the possibility that “DHS will have responsibility for developing an effective and equitable strategy for distributing vaccine to Wisconsin residents.”
The first several weeks were spent selecting members, developing a framework for equitable distribution, and taking public comment. On December 10th, it settled on what groups of people should get the vaccine first, during “Phase 1A.” That list includes first responders and nursing home staff and residents. That was just in the nick of time. The FDA approved emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 11th. The first vaccines were administered in Wisconsin on Dec. 14th. Moderna’s vaccine was approved on Dec. 18th.
The vaccine subcommittee then got to work on the eligibility list for “Phase 1B.” It completed a preliminary list ready for public comment on Jan. 12th. It includes everyone over the age of 70, state prison inmates, and workers in the mink fur industry. That same day, the federal government told states to open up vaccinations to everyone over the age of 65.