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Thursday, December 01, 2022

UW Health opens self-scheduling options for vaccines

UW Health opened up a new self-scheduling model for Madisonians that want to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to sign up instead of waiting to be contacted by hospital staff. 

This move comes as Wisconsin opens up eligibility to group 1C. People with about 20 medical conditions became eligible Monday, which includes individuals with cancer, diabetes, moderate to severe asthma or being overweight or obese according to the state Department of Health Services. That group is believed to include more than 2 million of the state's 5.8 million residents, which means that together with preceding groups the majority of the state is now eligible. 

According to a statement released Monday by UW Health, there are two ways for patients to schedule an appointment. This can be done by confirming eligibility through UW Health’s MyChart portal, or by signing up for same-day vaccinations at one of the clinics operated by UW Health. Appointment availability will depend on the supply of vaccinations the state receives.  

UW Health has only received a fraction of the doses needed from DHS to vaccinate the community; however, the new scheduling system will allow appointments to be booked faster than they were when patients were contacted as they became eligible. 

“We are optimistic that the supply of vaccine will eventually increase, and our new scheduling format will allow us to be ready when it comes,” Chief Quality Officer of UW Health Dr. Jeff Pothoff said in the release. 

If appointments are not available at UW Health, patients are encouraged to look for appointments at local pharmacies or through the DHS vaccine finder website. There are currently no vaccine appointments available through UW Health as of Monday night, but officials have said the site will update as appointments become available.

“As people with certain medical conditions begin signing up for vaccination appointments, we ask for everyone’s continued patience,” DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said. “Some places may have waitlists, but eventually everyone will be able to get protected against the virus.”

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