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Mercyhealth to vaccinate Janesville school district staff

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- It was a special day at Mercyhealth, Friday, for Janesville teachers.

"I'm so excited, honestly it makes my life easier, but it makes life so much better for the kids," Ahlia Dupree, a math teacher at Craig High School, said.

While getting her vaccine, she was thinking about how much more stable the classroom setting will be for her students now.

"The switching back and forth has been so hard on all of them, I know I'm impressed by all of their work," Dupree said. "Getting them back in person, I'll be able to do my job and teach them more."

Both she and special education teacher Sara Proulx have had to quarantine because of covid scares already.

Proulx says having the vaccine will help her better connect with her students, who need a more hands on approach.

"It means that if they need a hug, because it's been a hard day I can give them a hug, it's just those social emotional pieces," she said.

While there was some initial controversy with the decision to vaccinate teachers so soon, hospital officials say they're already ahead of schedule vaccinating medical staff and the vaccine does more good in people's arms than sitting in the freezer.

"Our goal is to get vaccine again into the arms, we had gone through our phase 1, our healthcare workers, our EMS, we've gone through all of those phases at the direction of DHS, but we still had vaccine in the freezer," Don Janczak with Mercyhealth said.

He says this vaccination effort won't interfere with getting healthcare workers taken care of, and they'll be able to continue with the next phases of vaccination starting next week.

This is all to help get kids back to school safely.

"It would just be great to not have to wear a mask and to not have their desks three feet apart and to have kindergartners in desks," Proulx said. "It would be great to have all of that, no longer needed."

Mercyhealth was able to vaccinate nearly 900 teachers and staff Friday.

The Janesville School District will have its second dose day on February 12th.

Mercyhealth will start the Phase 1b vaccination, next week, with people over 75, and they'll be reaching out to patients through their mychart system.

JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- 1,300 staff members in the Janesville School District are scheduled to get the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.

Initially, there was confusion over whether or not educators were eligible to receive the vaccine in the state's 1A phase of distribution. However, on January 15, a Mercyhealth spokesperson confirmed the plan to vaccinate teachers would move forward.

Class will not be in session while staff is being vaccinated.

Jessica Porter

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