Higher ed teachers included in next Wisconsin vaccine group

NOW: Higher ed teachers included in next Wisconsin vaccine group

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- It’s a phase within a phase.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said Thursday, Feb. 25, the state will prioritize educators when new groups become eligible to receive vaccines Monday.

“DHS will focus allocations each week on people 65 and older, and educators, to ensure both groups are getting vaccinated before moving on to other newly eligible populations,” DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said.

DHS said the term "educators" includes K-12 staff, child care workers, and higher education. UWM sent faculty a letter Thursday announcing they will set up a clinic at their Student Union Monday.

UWM College of Letters and Science Dean Scott Gronert said this bodes well for getting to 75% in-person instruction for the fall semester.

“It is so critical for us because we need to get back to normalcy, and the vaccines are a big milestone in making that transition,” Gronert said.

More immediately, it will help the university operate their research labs and prepare for the fall.

“Getting our campus back in shape to be teaching not a hundred percent, but mainly face-to-face.”

DHS said they will soon compile a list of which school districts will receive vaccinations first, based on the percentage of students of color and the amount of students with free or reduced lunch.

“These are populations who have been -- who they and their families have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic,” Willems Dijk said.

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