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State COVID-19 vaccinators cannot require ID or proof of residency from patients

Local health officials are worried not enough young people will get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Local health officials are worried not enough young people will get the COVID-19 vaccine.(Lauren Jackson WBRC)
Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - State health officials are reminding Wisconsinites that everyone 16 and older is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, adding that people who do not have a valid ID or insurance cannot be turned away to get their free shot.

Anyone that works, lives or studies in Wisconsin can get their COVID-19 shot for free, according to the Department of Health Services.

DHS reminded vaccinators that they cannot require patients to provide an ID, nor can they collect a co-payment or charge for vaccinations. People with insurance may have an administrative fee or charge, but that fee will be covered by private and public insurance plans.

They also cannot turn someone away because they do not provide a proof of residency, DHS adds.

The agency’s deputy secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said when a vaccinator asks for proof of ID, they typically are doing that to confirm the patient’s appointments or health records. However, they cannot turn patients away for not providing this information.

“We are working to ensure that any reports of Wisconsinites being turned away from their vaccination appointments are addressed and resolved immediately,” Willems Van Dijk said.

DHS secretary-designee Karen Timberlake explained that as more people are vaccinated, the state is more protected against the virus.

“That is why our biggest priority is to get 80% of Wisconsin vaccinated,” said Timberlake. “To achieve that community immunity, we must work to remove barriers that prevent Wisconsinites from accessing the vaccine. If you don’t have an ID or insurance, you will not be turned away.”

Health officials urged residents to report any instances where they or someone they know has been turned away by a vaccinator for not providing an ID or health insurance. People can email DHSCovidVaccinePublic@Wisconsin.gov or call 844-684-1064 to make their report.

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