Race to schedule vaccine appointments becomes more competitive as eligibility expands

MADISON, Wis.– The race to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine just got even more competitive now that everyone 16 and older is eligible in Wisconsin.

“You need to be going out and looking for where you can get vaccinated,” Senior Medical Director at UW Health Matt Anderson said. “Certainly, there are a lot of options.

Unlike before, vaccinators probably won’t invite people to get the shot. So, it’s on those who want one to find an appointment online.

“There’s going to be some people that get to be vaccinated this week, next week,” Anderson said. “There’s going to be other people where it’s going to be several weeks. That really is luck of the draw.

New appointments are typically added once a vaccinator knows how many doses they’ll get for that week, but appointments are usually taken almost as soon as they’re posted.

“Once they go live on our scheduler and are available to schedule those appointments, they’re being filled anywhere between one and four hours,”Hy- vee Public Relations Director Christina Gayman said.

Hy-Vee, a new vaccinator in the state, recommends checking daily to see what’s been added.

“Check during the day to see what might be available,” Gayman said. “We do post on our stores’ Facebook pages when they receive an allocation, as well.”

Anderson said it ultimately depends on supply, which still isn’t enough to meet demand.

“We really want to encourage everybody to take advantage of this eligibility opportunity here over the coming months, because that’s going to be the way to keep themselves safe,” Anderson said.

Pfizer is currently the only vaccine approved for 16 and 17-year-olds. Teens will need parent permission to get the shot.