Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) encourage anyone attending school in the upcoming 2021-2022 school year to get their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. This includes children ages 12 and up as well as anyone planning to attend in-person classes at a college or university.
“Getting vaccinated now means we can help make sure our students are back in the classroom and won’t have to miss out on in-person classes or extra-curricular activities,” said Governor Tony Evers. “The COVID-19 vaccines are the best protection we have against the virus and make it possible for our kids to get back to learning safely and without disruption.”
According to CDC and DHS guidance, adults and adolescents who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine(link is external) after close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. That means that parents and guardians do not need to worry about their fully vaccinated children having to miss out on in-person school, after school activities such as sports, and other extracurricular activities after being exposed to COVID-19. In addition, many places across the state, and some schools, will not be requiring people who are fully vaccinated to wear masks indoors.
Confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 have been increasing over the past several weeks after a period of regular decline. The 7-day average of new confirmed cases stands at 242, which represents a 303% increase since the 7-day average reached a recent low of 60 cases per day just two and a half weeks ago. This comes amidst reports from states across the nation experiencing surges in newly reported cases, most commonly attributed to the more-transmissible Delta variant. All three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use in the United States show promising results at preventing severe illness from COVID-19.
For children ages 12 and up, the Pfizer COVID-19 is the only vaccine currently available for this age group. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, spaced 21 days apart. Adults ages 18 and up are eligible for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which also requires two doses, spaced 28 days apart. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is also authorized for those ages 18 and up, but only requires one dose. For all three currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines, an additional two weeks is needed after receiving the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or the one dose of Johnson & Johnson to build full protection against the virus. That means that parents and guardians of adolescents should strongly consider getting their children vaccinated as soon as possible to ensure they are fully vaccinated for the start of the school year.
“It is important that we continue to vaccinate everyone who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines, especially as students, faculty and teachers, and other staff make plans to return to school in the fall,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “With the recent increase in new cases, and the very real threat of the Delta variant, vaccination remains our best tool for preventing further disruption in our schools and universities throughout the state.”
To find a COVID-19 vaccine location in your community visit Vaccines.gov(link is external), or call 211 or 877-947-2211. Select daycares are offering free childcare during your COVID-19 vaccine appointment, and select CVS and Walgreen pharmacies are offering extended hours on Fridays. Learn about these resources at the DHS Find a Vaccine Appointment webpage.
The COVID-19 vaccines can also be administered at the same time as other routine immunizations. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a great opportunity to make sure you and your student are up-to-date on other recommended vaccinations. Additional resources for parents and guardians of adolescents currently eligible to receive the vaccine can be found on the DHS COVID-19 Resources for Parents and Guardians page.
For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage. You can also follow @DHSWI on Facebook(link is external), Twitter(link is external), or dhs.wi on Instagram(link is external) for more information on COVID-19.