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Next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution starts Monday

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 4:43 AM CST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2021 at 8:19 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The next phase in COVID-19 vaccine distribution across the state of Wisconsin starts on Monday.

The next group eligible includes several more professions including 911 operators, public transit, food chain supply and of course, educators and childcare workers. The state is going to prioritize all education and childcare staff first.

There will be a few clinics the first week of March to vaccinate K-12 educators in Eau Claire County. In the county, there is still a limited supply so they will be sub-prioritizing those with higher risk. This include individuals who teach special education students, teach kids 6 and younger, have a chronic health condition, are 55 and older or are a part of minority communities. Anyone who qualifies in those categories will be prioritized within the education group since it is such a large population.

Mary Donnellan a kindergarten teacher at Immaculate Conception in Eau Claire is already in the que and waiting to get her vaccine. “When you are here, you are not only exposed to the kids in your classroom, you are exposed to their whole family,” said Mary Donnellan. “Everybody is trying to be careful and trying to do the right thing but to be able to have that vaccine to protect me and protect these children from getting something from me so I think it’s going to ease the emotional where with all.”

Donnellan says she feels lucky to be in the classroom all year since September but the vaccine will just add another layer of safety for the kids, their families and the other staff. Some schools will be distributing vaccines to their staff or they can sign up to get vaccinated at other community clinics. Again, educators are just one in the phase that starts on Monday. They will be the priority for now but others that qualify include:

  • Individuals enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs
  • Some public-facing essential workers
  • Non-frontline essential health care personnel
  • Facility staff and residents in congregate living settings.

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