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Despite eligibility, some teachers will continue to wait to be vaccinated

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) --- Wisconsin teachers may have to wait longer than expected to be receive a COVID-19 vaccine as some counties are still vaccinating those 65-and-older.

"Patience is a virtue" said Marathon County Health Department Public Information Officer, Judy Burrows.

A common phrase being used by local health departments across north-central Wisconsin, as over 700 thousand people are being added to list of eligible people to receive the COVID vaccines.

"The groups that were added before, like the 65 or older, are still eligible. We're just adding more people," said Burrows.

In many counties people over the age of 65 will remain the priority.

As Oneida, Forest and Juneau are some of the only counties in our area at or above the state average for the demographic.

"The reason they went to opening up additional eligibility groups is because they know that in some places they are largely done or close to getting done," said Matt Anderson MD, Senior Medical Director of Primary Care at UW Health.

"In Marathon County we've only vaccinated about 40% of our adults 65-or-older and we would like to get that number up a little higher," said Burrows.

The most common answer as to what's holding up the vaccinations, is supply.

"Right now there is a supply and demand mismatch," said Anderson.

"Once we have 3, or four or more vaccines available we will be able vaccinate people as they want it," said Burrows.

She says the Marathon County Health Department has told the Wisconsin Department of Health Services how many educators will be opting to receive the vaccine in local schools and health officials will be releasing more specific guidelines at a later date.

"There are a lot of people working very hard to get teachers vaccinated, they are a priority for us," said Burrows.

So for now, health care providers are continuing to ask for your patience.

Chase McNamara

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