I take part in phone calls and zoom meetings with the Lt. Governor of Wisconsin whenever he has meetings with faith leaders in our State. In a recent meeting, faith leaders from around Wisconsin asked the Lt. Governor to open up vaccination eligibility to all clergy to make hospital visits accessible.
Yesterday, I received an email from the Lt. Governor's office saying that the guidance has been updated to make all clergy available to receive a COVID-19 vaccination if they so desire. Another question that came up in last week's meeting was if churches could be host sites for vaccinations. He addresses that question in the email as well. I have included the email in its entirety below.
Please note, I'm not posting this as a recommendation that every pastor should get the COVID-19 vaccination. Full disclosure, I received the first Pfizer dose last week because I am a teacher at a local private school. I thought it was worth it to give me more ministry opportunities. Having said that, I recognize that vaccinations are personal decisions.
I'm simply passing along the updated guidance in case a WARBC pastor wants to get the Covid-19 vaccination but thinks they are not yet eligible. Under the new guidance, all pastors are immediately eligible.
Here is the email I received from the Lt. Governor's office:
Following our meeting last week, I wanted to provide you with further information as it relates to vaccinations and the faith community.
All faith leaders are now eligible to receive vaccine in Wisconsin. The Department of Health Services has updated guidance that reflects the following information:
Updated Eligibility Guidance for Spiritual Care Providers
The eligibility guidance for spiritual care providers (clergy) has been modified. Previously, only spiritual care providers in hospital settings were eligible. This has been updated to include all spiritual care providers, both in and outside of hospital settings. A new frequently asked question (FAQ) has been published on DHS’ COVID-19 vaccine eligibility website to reflect this change.
The Department of Health Services is interested in helping connect faith leaders who want to support vaccine efforts with the local public health departments in their community. They have built a survey and will filter the results to local health officers to help do some match-making.
Please note that this survey doesn’t commit anyone to hosting a clinic, nor does it guarantee the local health departments will be able to partner.
You can access the survey at the following link:
Thank you once again for all of your efforts, and please let my office know if you have any questions or would like further clarification on any of this information.
Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes