Graham Kilmer

City Has More Vaccine For Educators Than Demand

Mayor says Wisconsin Center has 800 vaccine appointments still open for Wednesday.

By - Mar 9th, 2021 07:14 pm
COVID-19 Vaccination Hub at the Wisconsin Center. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

COVID-19 Vaccination Hub at the Wisconsin Center. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Last week, the City of Milwaukee started a massive push to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to every educator or childcare worker that lives or works in the city.

The city partnered with Children’s Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin to staff the Wisconsin Center vaccine clinic as well as several community based clinics for this group.

However the city currently has more vaccine set aside for educators than is currently being used. Mayor Tom Barrett said, as of Tuesday afternoon, there were still more than 800 available vaccine appointments at the Wisconsin Center for the following day.

Barrett, and new Milwaukee Health Department Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said there were open appointments at the community clinics for educators as well.  There are clinics just for Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) staff at two high schools: North Division, 1011 W. Center St., and South Division, 1515 W. Lapham Blvd. Another is open to any educator of childcare worker that lives or works in the city, that’s at Villard Square Library, 5190 N. 35th St, which also has appointments available on Wednesday.

Barrett said he is not “disappointed in the numbers up to this point,” adding that thousands of educators had already taken advantage of the vaccine since the start of last week, during a media briefing Tuesday. The mayor said he wanted educators and childcare workers to know that there is plenty of vaccine available for them.

“We have been so exhaustive in our attempts to make sure that all educators have access to a vaccination by March 15th that we have taken some really pretty gigantic steps to do that,” Barrett said.

The result is that there is no shortage of vaccine for educators. Barrett said he is reaching out to MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith P. Posley, School Board President Larry Miller and leadership at Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association as part of a “full court press” to make sure MPS staff “take advantage of what we provided for them up to this point.”

MPS is already educating approximately 300 special-needs students in person and will begin phasing in the rest of their students to in-person classes in April. Making sure students and staff can safely return to the classroom was the impetus for making teachers eligible and for the city’s push to vaccinate them all.

Dr. Ben Weston, director of medical services for Milwaukee County, said during the media briefing that not everyone may know they are actually eligible for the vaccine. He used the example of the education and childcare group explaining that eligibility may be broader than is generally realized. “If you work at the Boys and Girls club, if you work at the YMCA or a childcare center, you are eligible for vaccine,” he explained.

The push to make vaccine eligible to every educator and childcare worker that wants it during this two-week window was an ambitious challenge, to which the city and its private partners appear to have risen. Hundreds of volunteers from the health systems are staffing the clinics and coordinating vaccination. The Wisconsin Center is vaccinating every day of the week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We are leaving no stone unturned to make sure that those vaccinations are there, now people have to take advantage,” Barrett said. “That’s how straightforward this is.”

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Categories: Education, Health

2 thoughts on “City Has More Vaccine For Educators Than Demand”

  1. Nate Holton says:

    At this point, the narrow targeting of specific people is just slowing down progress. It’s to the point where the ethnical move to open access to vaccines to everyone. There will be no shortage of demand, nor will it be difficult to find interested people. Interested people will find the vaccine. This is now too clever by half.

  2. keewaysservices says:

    I agree open the process to all . Take the vaccine to where the people are:
    Provide vaccine to churches, homeless shelter, courthouse
    Offer clinic at grocery stores .one dose vaccines do that return appointment is not required.

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