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Plans to vaccinate teachers delayed at least two weeks


From our news partner Channel3000:

Even though teachers and educators will be among those prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines starting March 1st, public health officials in Dane County say a supply shortfall means a mass vaccination effort for them at the Alliant Energy Center will be delayed for at least two weeks.

Public Health Madison & Dane County announced plans last week to vaccinate large amounts of teachers and educators at the Alliant Energy Center once they became eligible on Monday. PHMDC had requested a total of 14,000 doses — 7,000 each for the week of March 1st and March 8th — to supply the effort, which was expected to take between 6 and 8 weeks to finish.

But PHMDC says the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has changed the way they allocate the vaccine to teachers and childcare workers, which resulted in PHMDC receiving just 12% of the doses they asked for, none of which were approved to be used on vaccinating educators or childcare providers.

In an email to Madison365, PHMDC officials said most local healthcare providers are working with PHMDC to administer vaccines, so any teachers seeking vaccines from their primary care providers would likely be referred to the Alliant Energy Center program.

“It is important to remember that though groups are eligible for vaccination on March 1, it doesn’t mean vaccines will be provided to us by March 1,” said PHMDC director Janel Heinrich.

PHMDC says they will use the vaccine doses they do get in the next couple weeks to continue to vaccinate previously-eligible groups, like people aged 65 and older.

“We are hopeful that with the new process DHS set up to request doses for schools/childcare we will be able to vaccinate a large portion of teachers starting the week of March 15,” PHMDC Communications Specialist Sarah Mattes said in an email. “We still have thousands of people on our 65+ list so will focus on them next week.”