MILWAUKEE — With the start of a new school year in Wisconsin just around the corner, school boards across the state are weighing what-if-any COVID-19 precautions to have in place.

Parents with young children statewide are dealing with a similar debate tied to whether or not to have their kids vaccinated against the virus.

"The vaccine rate for the younger population has slowed down— it never has been as robust as the adult population," Dr. David Ottenbaker, SSM Health VP of Primary Care Services, told Spectrum News 1.

As of Thursday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports that just 28.7% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 have been vaccinated.

"These MRNA vaccines that we talked about, they have a good track record now— they are very safe and every effective," Dr. Ottenbaker added. "With the new variants that are out there, the BA.4 and BA.5, [the vaccines] don't necessarily prevent infection, but what people forget is that they decrease the severity of the illness."

You can watch the full interview above.