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Friday, March 24, 2023

UHS opens vaccine portal as Wisconsin enters new wave of vaccinations

UW-Madison’s University Health Services (UHS) opened a portal on Wednesday for the university community to sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Rather than waiting for an email, students and faculty can check their UHS portal for vaccine eligibility status and available appointments. 

The decision comes amid the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ transition into the next wave of vaccinations, which will start on March 22. Those 16 and older with pre-existing conditions will be eligible, as well as students and employees working in person. 

More than 2 million Wisconsin residents will be eligible for the vaccine when the new wave begins next week. Public health officials say the state will have enough doses to vaccinate 80 percent of the population by late June, which is the bar for herd immunity.

All non-student employees that work in-person can schedule appointments now through UHS, which offers the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or through SSM Health, which provides the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot, according to The Capital Times. 

Other current eligible groups include employees 65 and older, those in direct patient roles or those exposed to the virus, police, childcare or custodial roles and Housing and Dining staff age 45 and older.  

According to a news release, UHS has distributed over 10,000 vaccination shots since it started providing vaccinations on Jan. 5. 

As a whole, Wisconsin has administered more than 2 million shots thus far, and is second-best in the nation in terms of administering doses, trailing only New Mexico. Over 24% of Wisconsinites have already received at least one dose of a vaccine, and over 14% of the state is fully vaccinated.

To schedule an appointment, members of the UW-Madison community can check their UHS portal under the COVID immunization section. They will then be directed to select which dose they are seeking, along with eligibility requirements.    

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