Alliant Energy Center to get FEMA support to expand mass vaccination site

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Madison will be home to a federally-supported mass vaccination site starting Wednesday.

FEMA will provide federal staff and support services for the mass vaccination site at the Alliant Energy Center, with the state of Wisconsin committing to providing up to 7,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine every week for the site.

“This is one of the largest vaccination efforts our state has undertaken and it takes teamwork at every level to ensure we are getting vaccine to everyone as quickly, fairly, and safely as possible,” Gov. Evers said in a statement. “I am grateful for FEMA’s support to our state and coordinating with our local partners to help our most vulnerable populations get the protection they need so we can all move forward from this pandemic.”

The governor’s office says the mass vaccination site will have the ability to vaccinate 1,400 people per day.

The Alliant Energy Center will receive 26 additional staff from the federal government to help boost the number of doses given at the site. This means the operation will be able to increase from eight lanes to eleven.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi has been in talks with the federal government to try to get this help for months.

“It’s really a reflection of our facility at the Alliant Energy Center. You know we’ve shown that we can get thousands of people through there for testing. We’ve shown that we can get a lot of vaccines, getting people in and out of there. And we’ve demonstrated to them that we have the capacity, the ability to expand even more,” said Parisi.

Public Health Madison and Dane County said the extra hands and doses will be a lot of help.

DHS will also be increasing Public Health Madison and Dane County’s vaccine allotment from 5,600 doses a week to 7,700.

“We are hoping it’s Johnson & Johnson and one shot, but if it’s not, we’ll take any vaccine that’s available to us,” said Doug Voegeli with Public Health Madison and Dane County.

This could also help more Madison-area residents get appointments closer to home.

“The demand here in Dane County I think is a little higher than in other areas. So it may be a little bit more difficult in Dane County at this point in time to get an invite. However, I would think that in the next few weeks you’re going to see that loosen up a bit,” said Voegeli.

“Collaboration has been key in our response to the pandemic, so I’m happy to welcome FEMA to Madison,” Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said. “I’m thankful for the partnership between the city, public health, Dane County, the state and the federal government that will speed up the process of getting folks vaccinated here in Madison.”

Vaccination appointments will still need to be made in advance for the mass vaccination site by signing up through Wisconsin’s vaccine registry at vaccinate.wi.gov or by calling 1-844-684-1064.