Educators get a shot in the arm

Whitewater educators receive first dose of Moderna vaccine


Karley Garcia

March 16th, the mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic has been set up in the Whitewater High school gymnasium. Whitewater student Veronica Konzakova gets her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Firefighter/EMT Joshua Green.

Carina Lopez Quintero, News Editor

The Whitewater Unified School District, School District of Fort Atkinson and our very own UW-Whitewater participated in a one-day mobile vaccine clinic. Tuesday, March 16 SSM Health administered over 500 Moderna vaccines to educators around the area.

Vaccinating educators is a key component to getting students safely back to school full time, according to  SSM Health Wisconsin Regional President Damond Boatwright.

Educators and staff in education settings became eligible for the vaccine on March 1 joining healthcare personnel, frontline workers, 65 and older and essential workers. 

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, this includes: 

  • All staff in regulated child care, public and private school programs, out-of-school time programs, virtual learning support, and community learning center programs.
  • All staff in Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs.
  • All staff in preschool and Head Start through K-12 education settings.
  • Faculty and staff in higher education settings who have direct student contact.

Some students from UW-Whitewater that are in an educational setting were also eligible to get vaccinated. Freshman Veronika Kondakova who works at the front desk of Starin Hall received the Moderna shot during the mobile clinic. The general student population has not been named eligible yet, however. 

“I was a little nervous about the shot and the side effects but I was excited to get it,” said Konzakova. 

The mobile clinic was hosted at the Whitewater High School.

“We contacted them, we got them scheduled, on the day of SSM Health brought in the Moderna vaccine so folks then showed up at their appointment time, were given the first dose, monitored and scheduled for their second dose,” said SSM Health Marketing & communications Liaison Erica Mathis. “So we will be going back to Whitewater on April 13 to administer the second doses.” 

To be considered fully immune, vaccinated individuals must wait two weeks after the second dose, Mathis said. It is a six week process from start to finish. 

“CDC recommends, and that’s what we follow, that people continue to mask when in public. It is okay to not mask if you’re, say, within your household with other individuals who are fully vaccinated,” said Mathis. 

To date, SSM Health has administered more than 111,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Wisconsin. 

Mathis shared that many individuals that were vaccinated believed this to be “a moment of hope”. There’s excitement to go back to normalcy. 

“Keep masking, keep social distancing and continue with the hand washing. It’s really important that we don’t get too laxed and we remain vigilant,” said Mathis. “We’re not done yet, but we are going in the right direction.

Beginning March 22, people 16 and older with certain medical conditions will be eligible for vaccination as approved by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

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