Starting today, all those who live and work in Wisconsin, ages 16 and above, are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. This means that all University of Wisconsin students are now eligible for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Due to high demand and shorter supply, people are having trouble finding vaccine appointments, particularly in Madison and surrounding areas. In an email statement to The Badger Herald, UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone said UW is encouraging students to pursue vaccination off-campus as well as on-campus. According to McGlone, doing so will increase a student’s likelihood of getting an appointment sooner. Also, campus appointments are now first come, first served and UW is not prioritizing any subgroups.
Students, staff and employees can find a provider near them using the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website. For vaccine-related inquires and support with the Wisconsin DHS, call (844) 684-1064.
The COVID-19 vaccine will not be administered on-site within residence halls, and the Nicholas Recreation Center — or the Nick — is the “primary” campus site for vaccination, McGlone said. Because vaccine supply has been limited, she wrote, UW has not been able to provide more appointments. McGlone also said the Nick is able to accommodate more vaccine appointments than UW is currently offering and will continue to serve the campus “well.”
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“A student’s access to [the] vaccine on campus does not differ based on whether they live in or outside residence halls,” McGlone said. “Student employees in Housing and Dining are already eligible for vaccination on campus.”
For a comprehensive guide on all vaccine information, including resources, FAQs and availability at University Health Services, students can visit the COVID-19 Response website.
In the email statement, McGlone said the following options are available for getting a vaccine:
- University Health Services
UW-Madison employees and students can make appointments through the MyUHS portal. If appointments are not available the first time you check, please check back later in the week.
- Your local health department
Public Health Madison & Dane County is collecting vaccine sign-up information through the DHS sign-up form. Vaccines are given at the Alliant Energy Center by appointment only. Transportation is available for those who need it — more information about this service is provided when an appointment is made.
- Your health care provider
Check with your provider about vaccine availability.
A growing number of pharmacies, including many national retailers, are now offering vaccination, such as Walgreens, Walmart, CVS and Hy-Vee. Check the DHS website for a full list of participating pharmacies and information on how to make an appointment.
- Community-based vaccination clinics
DHS is operating community clinics in several counties. Any eligible Wisconsin resident can be vaccinated at these sites, though keep in mind wherever you get your first dose, you will need to get your second dose at the same location.
UW also offered special clinics for second- and third-shift employees in Facilities Planning and Management, Athletics, Wisconsin Unions, Conference Centers and Mail Services, Housing, Mouse Breeding Core and Research Services and University Health Services.
The employees of the above departments have work schedules that are outside the normal vaccine clinic hours, and many of them also are English language learners and face other barriers to vaccination, McGlone said.
“There is a lot of focus on making vaccine access as equitable as possible and addressing barriers to vaccination that may have a disproportionate impact on certain groups,” McGlone said. “These dedicated evening and early morning clinics have translators present and are intended to ensure that all employees who wish to can access [the] vaccine on campus.”
The clinics were open for April 1 and 2. Thursday, April 1 there were rumors across social media about 30 extra doses at Carson Gulley Center in Lakeshore. McGlone said that occurred at the first opening night of the special clinics, and UW does not expect this to be a “regular occurrence” moving forward as they now have a better sense of demand.
UPDATE: This piece was updated at 6:30 p.m. to add in more information about the Carson Gulley Center clinic and UW’s ‘first come, first serve policy.’