Nick Novak on Madison’s WISC-TV: ‘Incredibly Disappointed’ Manufacturing Workers Left Off Vaccine Eligibility List

MADISON -The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has some manufacturing workers in the state feeling left out.On Monday, an estimated two million people in Wisconsin with high-risk medical conditions become eligible for the vaccine as part of Phase 1C.

The Centers’ for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations put manufacturing workers in Phase 1B, but the State Disaster and Medical Advisory Committee did not include the group of about 500,000 such workers in the state’s Phase 1B when deliberating early in the vaccine rollout this winter – a time when vaccine supply was far more limited.

The CDC also recommended putting “essential workers not included in Phase 1B” into Phase 1C, so Nick Novak of Wisconsin Manufactures & Commerce said the state’s manufacturers’ association is disheartened that won’t be the case.

“We’re just incredibly disappointed,” Novak said. “Manufacturers have to be part of the equation.” WMC is asking that DHS reconsider.

They have gone into work every single day to produce PPE, to produce hand sanitizer, to produce test kits,” Novak said. “They have been a part of the response to COVID-19 and they’ve been deemed essential, but now when it comes to the getting the vaccine, Gov. Evers and DHS have said they’re not essential. Simply, they’re not going to be prioritized.”

At a media briefing Thursday, Willems Van Dijk said with where supply is now, they moved to Phase 1C knowing that the vaccine would be available to the general population “very soon” by May 1.

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