MADISON, Wis. — As another vaccine phase rolls out and more and more people in the state become eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine, many are getting optimistic about where the state is with the pandemic.
Madison resident Amy Bishop is looking forward to getting the vaccine herself.
“Absolutely,” she said. “I can't see my daughter until I get it.”
For Bishop and many others, coronavirus kept her from her family members.
“It's been the longest year and a half I've ever had, my daughter is only 11 years old and I can't see her until I get vaccinated so it tore my family apart,” Bishop said.
Bishop wasn't sure if she was eligible with the new phase of people for the vaccine. People with a wide variety of pre-existing conditions are now eligible to sign up for it.
Advocacy groups pushed for certain pre-existing conditions and celebrated when the state announced it would vaccinate people with conditions like cancer, diabetes, obesity, or kidney issues. Michael Crowley, chief executive officer of the National Kidney Foundation in Wisconsin wrote Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) asking people with kidney issues to be added to the vaccine list.
“Given the relative risk of kidney patients to severe COVID-19 infections and outcomes, NFK of Wisconsin calls on the state government to prioritize kidney patients and their caregivers in their COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans,” Crowley wrote.
Each individual has a different relationship with the vaccine. Some got it for their age like Alfonso Guitierrez
“The vaccine gave me peace of mind and gets my anxiety away,” Guitierrez said.
Guitierrez said he feels lucky to have been vaccinated, and he's happy for the millions more who can sign up starting Monday.
“I'm very happy I feel good and I think that everybody should feel good,” he said.
Or if they got the vaccine for work, like Giovanni Onesto did last week, not only does it make their work life a little less stressful, but vising family too.
“When I go home to like my family for holidays and stuff I don't have to worry about spreading it to them now,” Onesto said.
Onesto watches vaccination numbers in Wisconsin, eagerly watching as the state inches closer to more immunity.
“I get excited when I see that we can return to normalcy pretty soon, well a couple of months,” Onesto said.
Vaccinators like Fitchburg Family Pharmacy say people have been excited to get the shot.
“Especially when they get their second,” said Thad Schumacher, the pharmacy's owner.
Schumacher said they're ready for more excited patients as vaccines open up to people with a wide variety of pre-existing conditions this week.
“We're prepared for a large quantity of people to be eligible and be asking for vaccines,” Schumacher said.
So far they've vaccinated more than 2,000 people and they're ready for more.
While the state has expanded who is eligible, there is still a higher demand than supply of vaccines according to the Department of Health Services. DHS encourages people to be patient when making an appointment, but the new phase is the next step.
“Just one step in the right direction,” Schumacher said.