Hundreds of people wait in line for COVID-19 vaccines at Madison walk-in clinic

MADISON, Wis.– Standing in line on a gloomy day doesn’t phase Matt Hurr.

“I got here at about 10:15 a.m., and I’ve been waiting for an hour,” Hurr said.

Not when he knows he will be leaving with more protection against COVID-19 than when he got to Trinity United Methodist Church on Sunday.

The church hosted a walk-in clinic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the help of Hayat Pharmacy and Fitchburg Family Pharmacy.

“My wife heard about it through my neighbor and then told me to go,” Hurr said. “So, I just dropped what I was doing and ran down here.”

Hurr said it took several days of searching to finally find a first-dose appointment, but it’s two weeks and 40 miles away. He said waiting in a line today is the better option for him.

“Seems like everyone around Madison is sold out right now. So, you either have to wait here or go to like Milwaukee or Janesville to get a shot,” Hurr said.

Hayat Pharmacy from Milwaukee brought 600 doses of Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines to the clinic today.

“We had some extra doses, and we didn’t want them to go to waste,” Pharmacist Lauren Splawn said. “We knew there was a need here in Madison.”

Splawn said walk-in clinics have been successful in their part of the state and predicted it would be in Madison, too.

“Walk in style really helps people who aren’t able to make an appointment come in on their own time,” Splawn said.

Dr. Bill Hartman, a UW Health anesthesiologist, said that was true for his family. He brought his two teenage sons to the clinic for vaccinations this morning.

“A walk-in clinic, like this, where people don’t need to make an appointment, where they can just come in after going out for doughnuts on Sunday morning,” Hartman said. “This is just a tremendous way to have the community get as many vaccines in arms as possible.”

Hartman, who led the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial at UW, said walk-in clinics will help us the community out of the pandemic.

“All of these folks that have been standing in line, every single one of them is part of the solution,” Hartman said.

Hayat Pharmacy will return to the church on May 2 to give people who got the Pfizer shot their second dose of the vaccine.