Slinger district 'worried' about vaccine supply for teacher rollout

On March 1, Phase 1B of Wisconsin's COVID-19 vaccine rollout opens up to those in education, and some counties may not have enough supply to vaccinate school staff by then.

Daren Sievers

"It’s going to be quite an undertaking just to get those people vaccinated in a coordinated fashion," said Daren Sievers, Slinger School District superintendent.

A week out, Sievers said Monday, Feb. 22 there already isn't enough supply for his 362 employees.

"I’m very worried, very worried," said Sievers.

Tyler Weber

Like many vaccinators, the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department receives just 10% to 20% of the number of doses requested. 

"On a weekly basis, it’s anywhere from 200-500 doses," said Tyler Weber, interim health director.
 
When 6,500 educators across the two counties become eligible March 1, Weber said there will be 25,000 people 65 and older still in need of their shots.  

"We wish we could vaccinate everyone in one sweep but it’s not looking like that’s possible at this time," said Weber.

Weber is instead setting aside a small portion of the department's allotment each week to vaccinate school staff -- a process that could take months. 

"We’ll just have to week-by-week chip away," said Weber.

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Meanwhile, it will be up to each district to determine who gets priority. 

"I equate that to trying to pick which of my two kids I love more," said Sievers. "I want to take care of the entire Slinger School District family, and get anyone who wants a dose as soon as possible."

On March 1, several other populations, including 911 operators, staff and residents of congregate living settings and those enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs will also become eligible for the vaccine. 

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