Milwaukee wants to have all teachers, child care staff vaccinated by March 15

NOW: Milwaukee wants to have all teachers, child care staff vaccinated by March 15

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee is expanding its hours at the Wisconsin Center to get teachers and child care workers vaccinated as fast as possible.

Wisconsin opened eligibility for educators on March 1, and Milwaukee city officials said a number of teachers got vaccinated at the Wisconsin Center on the first and second days of eligibility. People who are eligible and live or work in Milwaukee can sign up for appointments at the Wisconsin Center.

"Our goal is to get all educators done by March 15. We've been working very, very closely with the Milwaukee Public Schools, with the superintendent, with the school board," said Mayor Tom Barrett. "We want to make sure that we have the vaccinations in the arms of people before they return into the classroom."

Marlaina Jackson, deputy commissioner of community health for the Milwaukee Health Department, said over the next two weeks, 17,000 vaccine doses will be administered to teachers and child care workers in Milwaukee. The city is partnering with local hospitals and holding mobile sites to accomplish its goal.

But other counties will likely not be done quite so swiftly.

"It's very hard to get an appointment," said Sarah Kissel, center director for the Mary Linsmeier Schools in Brookfield.

Kissel, who is also a board member for the Wisconsin Child Care Administrators Association, said she has spent a lot of time on the Department of Health Services' website trying to locate local pharmacies that have doses available, but hasn't had any luck. She said on Walgreens' website, there are no second doses available so the system would not allow her to schedule an appointment for her first dose.

"So many people are telling us different things. They're telling us to go through our provider. We call our providers. They're not doing (vaccines). They're saying, 'go through the health department,' and for the health departments, it's going back and forth," Kissel said.

Waukesha County is still vaccinating people 65 and older. County officials have said due to supply issues, they likely won't be able to start vaccinating educators until March 15.

Kissel said she'd like to get a shot in her arm as soon as she can.

"I serve over 30 families. I see kids every day. We cannot social distance with our children. We have babies that we have to feed bottles. We hug them when they cry. (And) not only those families (but) my own family I have to worry about. I have two small children myself," Kissel said.

Jackson said educators who don't live or work in Milwaukee should contact their local health department or health care provider to find an appointment. 

Wisconsin is also set to launch a new statewide vaccine registry later this week.

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