Kewaunee County school students, staff can get COVID-19 vaccines in special clinics
KEWAUNEE – The Kewaunee County Public Health Department is holding a two-part COVID-19 School Immunization Clinic at the county fairgrounds in August to vaccinate students and staff of Kewaunee County schools in time for the 2021-22 school year.
County health department director Cindy Kinnard noted the number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in Kewaunee County, as well as the percentage of positive tests, has declined significantly over the past few months as vaccines for the virus became available. Early in the year, the county was among the highest in the state for percentage of positive tests and positive tests per 100,000 people, both of which are considered as important indicators by various health organizations of how much the virus is spreading in the community.
But the pace at which people are getting their shots has stagnated in the county and across the state in the past few weeks, and the number of people ages 12 to 17 who've been vaccinated is low (ages 16 and 17 first became eligible April 5 in Wisconsin, ages 12 to 15 on May 12).
While almost half of Kewaunee County's adults have completed their vaccinations (7,980, or 49.7%), only 18.4% of those ages 12 to 15 and 25.4% of 16- and 17-year-olds in the county have done so, according to the state health department.
At the same time, the number of COVID-19 cases and rate of positive tests is rising again in Wisconsin, with the more contagious Delta variant of the virus believed to be responsible for as many as 85% of the new cases in the state, Kinnard said. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported last week that more than 98% of the state's nearly 150,000 new cases since January infected people who weren't fully vaccinated, and the vaccines currently in use are reportedly effective against all known variants of the virus.
Kinnard said the health department is holding the school vaccine effort to boost those numbers for the county's youths and help prevent possibly spreading the virus, especially the Delta variant, in the schools, subsequently preventing school quarantines or closures.
“We have kept the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Kewaunee County low over the summer, and the more people that we can get vaccinated, the better chance we have to keep the numbers down throughout the school year without having to quarantine dozens of students and staff due to possible exposure,” Kinnard said. “The COVID-19 virus has been mutating into different variants and the vaccine has been proven to help protect against each strain.”
"Right now, our goal is to keep our schools open to in-person learning for all students. The best way to do this is to get as many students and staff vaccinated as possible. It is our best protection against COVID-19 … The vaccine does cover the variant. So, the more people we vaccinate, the less spread throughout our community we should see."
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The vaccination clinic is using the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, so two visits are required. Ages 12 and older can receive their first dose of the vaccine between 1 and 6 p.m. Aug. 5 and the second dose Aug. 26 in Expo Hall at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds, 625 Third St., Luxemburg. It is open only to students and staff of Kewaunee County schools. Appointments for both dates can be made by calling the health department, although walk-ins will be welcome.
To make an appointment for the school clinic, call 920-388-7160. The department also continues to take appointments for its COVID-19 vaccinations clinics for the general public.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Kewaunee County school students, staff can get COVID-19 vaccines in special clinics