Almost 90% of School District of Janesville employees now fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Teachers and other employees finished their vaccine series weeks ago
Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 10:38 AM CST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2021 at 10:29 PM CST
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JANESVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) -Teachers were just added to the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility list on March 1st. But for a lot of teachers in Rock County, they’ve been fully vaccinated against the virus for weeks.

In late January, MercyHealth found itself with a surplus of the COVID-19 vaccine. Employees with the Janesville School District were offered the shot and many of them accepted without hesitation.

“Over 90% of staff have been vaccinated. They had both the first and second round, which is wonderful,” said Van Buren Elementary School principal Stephanie Pajerski.

Pajerski is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – as is most of her staff. She feels lucky to have both shots so early in the vaccine roll out process.

“We had originally heard that it might be June at the earliest before things got set up and we got the vaccine,” she said. “The district was able to work with Mercy and Dean and get this set up so quickly, which was fantastic,”

“I think just even in the building, the attitude about it was very positive,” said teacher Amanda Malchow. Malchow says after consulting with her own doctor, she felt the vaccine was safe.

“It’s a great step toward normalcy, so I think when people were offered that opportunity, most people jumped at that chance to become vaccinated,” she said.

With cases dropping and the vaccine now out – Van Buren is easing up on some restrictions.

“They (students) are going to get to leave the classroom and actually go to music in the music room,” said teacher Becky Carter.

Carter says students are now allowed to move around the building a little more. The art and music rooms are no longer off limits. Before, students were required to stay in their designated classrooms all day long.

“It is really the little things that-- you know the little things that we get to do that I think keeps the kids excited knowing that that there is positive change happening,” said Carter.

Van Buren students have been physically in class the entire school year– a trend they hope to continue until June 3, the last day of school.

According to the School District of Janesville, about 88% of all district employees have received their first and second doses of the vaccine. There are about 100 other employees that couldn’t get the vaccine right away but still intend to receive both shots. When they do, the district will be about 94% covered.

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