University Health Services first began distributing COVID-19 shots to the campus community on Jan. 5, alerting eligible students and employees by email when they could receive the vaccine and schedule an appointment.
In a new system launched Monday, students and faculty will be able to use their UHS portal to access eligibility information and appointment options as UHS transitions away from notifying eligible groups via email.
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UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone explained the increase in eligible groups and increase in vaccine supply made the MyUHS portal a more rational way of notifying individuals about eligibility requirements and appointment slots.
“In recent weeks, we have seen an expansion in the populations deemed eligible by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services,” McGlone said in an email to The Badger Herald. “Using the MyUHS portal provides a consistent way for members of the campus community to check their eligibility and search for available appointments.”
To check eligibility, students and employees can log in to the MyUHS portal and click “Schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 immunization.” UHS is currently offering the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine through a partnership started this week with SSM Health in Dane County.
This week, eligibility expanded to in-person, non-student employees, though the current supply of vaccines is not enough to cover the entire eligible group. UHS expects to continue to receive vaccine supply in coming weeks, McGlone said.
“Currently, UHS is not receiving enough vaccines each week to provide appointments to everyone who is eligible,” McGlone said. “Appointments are strictly driven by the DHS allocation, which changes weekly based on the allocation processes and protocols used within the state.”
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Following DHS guidelines, UHS currently offers appointments to employees and students that work in direct patient care roles or have direct contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Additional eligible parties include employees of the UW Police Department, faculty, staff and teaching assistants currently engaged in in-person instruction, UW Housing and Dining staff ages 45 and older, and childcare and custodial staff.
Individuals 16 and older will be eligible on May 1, according to the DHS.
McGlone said in the email UW students and employees are not limited to receiving vaccines solely through UHS. Students and employees also have the option to be vaccinated off-campus through health care providers and community providers such as pharmacies.