Teachers and child care workers in Wisconsin could begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines as early as March 1, according to the state health department. Included in the same category with educators would be individuals enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs; some public-facing essential workers; non-frontline health care essential personnel; and facility staff and residents in congregate living settings.

The announcement was made Jan. 26, a day after adults age 65 and older became eligible to receive vaccines. The target date is tentative. Visit dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-about.htm to check if you are eligible.

Douglas County residents can get the vaccine by reaching out to local clinics, pharmacies, the hospital and the health department, according to a news release from Douglas County Public Health Officer Kathy Ronchi.

Due to the limited availability of vaccine doses, specific populations that are at higher risk for exposure or more likely to develop severe symptoms have been prioritized for vaccines. The first doses were given to frontline health care personnel, followed by residents in skilled nursing and long-term care facilities, police, firefighters and correctional staff.

Decisions on which groups are eligible for the vaccine are made by the state health department based on recommendations provided by the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee, which is made up of medical experts and practitioners.

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More vaccine opportunities will be provided as more doses become available. In the meantime, Ronchi said, the virus continues to spread in Douglas County. Even those who are fully vaccinated should continue to stay home when possible, wear a mask, wash their hands and maintain physical distance from others.

Visit douglascountywi.org/1124/COVID-19-Updates for the latest information on COVID-19 and vaccinations. Additional information is available at dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-data.htm.