By Chanel Clark, WEESSN-Dane County Lead Coach

We have heard many of you expressing your concern about the COVID-19 vaccine in our state. We know that this process will take time, but we want to make sure to share the facts we have currently on this issue.

In December of 2020, Wisconsin started to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, it is making its way into the arms of those in Tier 1A as defined by the Wisconsin State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC). Tier 1A is our state’s medical professionals in high-risk categories of being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and those in long term care facilities; think nursing homes. As of January 7, 2021, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) website shows that 420,200 vaccines have been allocated to our state. Of those, 266,675 have been shipped, and 110,207 vaccines have already been administered.

Many of you reading this are probably thinking, “Great, when is it my turn?” The short answer is, we do not yet know. We are hoping that child care professionals will be listed in the second tier of people to get the vaccine, Tier 1B. This is how that determination will be made:

We are currently in step two of this process; SDMAC is creating the guidance to determine who will be prioritized in Tier 1B. Once Tier 1B is finalized, DHS will be able to give more information on the possible timeline and process of how the vaccine will be distributed.

As of December 14th, Kenneth Van Horn, the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at Public Health Madison and Dane County, wrote “…we think child care workers will be together from Pre-12, school or daycare. However, SDMAC will provide the final guidance about all tier 1B.”

So, for now, we remain hopeful that this guidance comes quickly and to see our profession included.

To further advocate for Early Childhood Educators to be included in tier 1B, SDMAC is taking public comment. You can email them at dhssdmac@dhs.wisconsin.gov. We will likely hear more next week about a final determination and will follow-up with any further advocacy efforts needed after that. In the meantime, stay healthy Wisconsin!

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