WAUSAU ? Vaccination rates in Wisconsin lag behind national goals, especially for children in rural areas in central and north central Wisconsin. Efforts are underway to change that, including a proposed bill that would allow pharmacists to vaccinate children. In addition, a new proposed mandate would add the meningitis vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for students entering the seventh grade. 

At 10 a.m. today, Aug. 22, Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Route 51” host Shereen Siewert welcomes Portage County Public Health Nursing Supervisor Melanie Baehr and Dr. Jonathan Temte, a UW-Madison expert on vaccination and microbiology, for a discussion on vaccination and how the new proposal would impact students in our area. State Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, will also discuss his bill that would allow pharmacists to vaccinate children, an effort to boost rates in rural areas where access to doctors can be limited.

“Route 51” is heard Thursdays at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 101.3 & 91.9/Wausau, AM 930/Auburndale-Stevens Point, 99.1/Stevens Point, 100.9/Marshfield, 90.3/Park Falls, 89.1/Adams-Wisconsin Rapids, and 89.9/Rhinelander-Eagle River. It is re-broadcast Fridays at 7 p.m. on 90.9/Wausau. Program archives are available at?wpr.org/route51.??