OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) The fight against the coronavirus will take a giant step on Monday and this step is significant for Winnebago county.
Wisconsin DHS announced educators and childcare providers will soon be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Courtney Van Auken, Winnebago County Health Department’s Communication Coordinator says, “The vaccinations may start Monday but they will take several weeks. The Winnebago health department has surveyed school districts and private schools and child care providers to assure they’re all linked to a provider.”
Michael Ford, Oshkosh city council member, and a parent says, “There’s been nothing more disruptive than the uncertainty around the schools so getting our educators vaccinated getting our schools back to normal is just going to be so huge for so many aspects of life.”
Teacher eligibility couldn’t have come at a better time because Winnebago county is experiencing a spike in positive COVID-19 cases in kids under 18.
According to the Winnebago County Health Department’s website, over the past week, individuals aged <18 had the highest percent positivity (6.6%) and those under 18 had the lowest testing rate (1,558 tests per 100,000 individuals under 18 years old).
Van Auken says, “Youth rates for COVID-19 have rapidly increased in our area and now have the highest rates of covid-19 for all age groups that’s mostly due to extracurricular activities and club sports.”
Ford says, “It’s a reminder that we gotta get through this last push so getting our educators vaccinated, getting our community members vaccinated. I think that’s going to get us over the hump.”
Teachers and childcare providers shouldn’t expect to get the vaccine right away as vaccine providers continue to prioritize.
Van Auken says, “We will continue to vaccinate our eligible groups that include the phase 1as, which are first-responders and our 65-year-olds and older as we begin to add on the educators and childcare providers.”
The Wisconsin DHS says educators and child care providers should anticipate receiving vaccines in March and early April and the remaining groups should plan to be vaccinated in April and May.