Milwaukee faces steep vaccine demand with educators soon eligible

Teachers are on-deck for the coronavirus vaccine, but they could be waiting there for a few weeks.

The Milwaukee Health Department estimates that there are around 25,000 educators in Milwaukee that will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on March 1 -- but there won't be 25,000 doses available.

Officials are hoping to get things done as fast as possible, setting up a mobile clinic at North Division High School to expedite vaccine distribution.

"Unfortunately, the phrase eligible does not equal available continues to apply this week," said Darren Rausch, Greenfield health director.

Health departments across Wisconsin are now creating plans for what happens when teachers become eligible on March 1. The City of Milwaukee said teachers who live or work within city limits will be able to sign up for an appointment at the Wisconsin Center on Monday.

"We’re hoping to get most of the first shots and also get into some of the second shots in the month of March. We are moving as fast as we can," said Marlaina Jackson, Milwaukee's interim health commissioner.

Marlaina Jackson

Reaching all 25,000 of the city's educators on that timeline, though, will be dependent on weekly vaccine shipments increasing.

"In Milwaukee County, to give you some transparency, local health departments expect to receive about 36% of our requested vaccine allocations for next week," Rausch said.

Darren Rausch

The vaccine shipments are also still needed for around half of the 65-and-older population yet to be vaccinated.

"Until we get that real consistent vaccine allocation, this is a challenge for not only local health departments but other community vaccinators," said Rausch.

In addition to North Division High School, the Milwaukee Health Department plans to launch a mobile clinic at South Division High School the week of March 8.

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