City Of Milwaukee Plans To Complete Educator Vaccinations By March 15
Updated 10:39 a.m.
Within the next two weeks, Milwaukee plans to vaccinate all educators living or working in the city who want a shot.
The Milwaukee Health Department announced Tuesday that it expects to receive 17,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses between March 1-15 that will be used for school and childcare workers. Volunteers from Children's Hospital and Medical College of Wisconsin will help staff the clinics.
“We feel really comfortable that in the next two weeks we will be able to get all educators that want shots and that want the COVID vaccine – that they will have the opportunity to get it,” Milwaukee Deputy Health Commissioner Marlaina Jackson said Tuesday during a press briefing.
During another news conference Wednesday, Jackson said the clinics for educators will use the Pfizer vaccine.
The city’s vaccination hub at the Wisconsin Center downtown will be open seven days per week for educator vaccinations.
There will also be mobile vaccination clinics at North Division and South Division high schools next week for Milwaukee Public Schools employees, and clinics at Mitchell Library and Villard Library for any teachers or childcare workers.
Mayor Tom Barrett said the city is working to get MPS staff vaccinated before the district’s tentative in-person return date of April 12. MPS has been almost entirely virtual since the start of the school year.
“We’ve been working very, very closely with Milwaukee Public Schools,” Barrett said. “They have set their calendar so that students will be going back April 12, April 19, April 26 in sort of a staggered term. And we want to make sure we have vaccinations into the arms of people before the return into the classroom.”
MPS’s return plan still needs final approval from the school board.
School and childcare workers became eligible for the COVID vaccine in Wisconsin March 1. On the first day of educator vaccinations at the Wisconsin Center, the Milwaukee Health Department threw out 34 Moderna doses after they expired. Local health departments were instructed by the state to use only the Pfizer vaccine for educators, according to MHD spokesman Jeff Fleming.
"More [Moderna] syringes had been prepared with vaccine than individuals presented themselves for Moderna vaccination at the Wisconsin Center," MHD said in a statement. "This is the first time any vaccine has expired and gone unused by the Health Department. The situation that led to the error was complicated by the instruction to give only Pfizer vaccine to teachers vaccinated on Monday. Also, a number of teachers scheduled appointments on Monday without identifying themselves as teachers until arriving at the vaccination site."
Jackson said Wednesday that the errors that led to the 34 unused doses have been corrected to prevent future waste.
To sign up for a vaccine from the Milwaukee Health Department, go to Milwaukee.gov/covidvax. Educators may also be able to make appointments at pharmacies or through their primary care providers.
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