Supply outweighs demand as vaccines become available at Alliant Energy Center without appointment

MADISON, Wis. – Finding a vaccine appointment is not as difficult as it once was.

Starting Tuesday, anyone seeking a vaccine can stop by the Alliant Energy Center during operating hours to get one, even without an appointment.

There are plenty of reasons to line up for the shot. Theresa Kapsy was excited to travel and see her family again, while Connor Thomas, who graduates high school in a month, comes in contact with a lot of people at work and wants to protect his at-risk mother.

“I figured, try to keep my family and the people I work with safe,” Connor said.

For months, appointments were closed off to many because of eligibility restrictions. Even without those, many people struggled with finding an open slot.

“I actually did (struggle) for a while,” Kapsy said. “I’m finding there’s a lot more appointments coming up, so that’s good.”

Kapsy and Thomas were both able to secure appointments Tuesday, but they said they were happy that the Alliant Energy Center is opening up vaccination lanes without appointments required.

“I think that’s really good honestly,” Thomas said. “It makes it more accessible to everyone, if you have free time during the day.”

“There’s no reason why you shouldn’t get one,” Kapsy said. “There’s no excuse. It’s not hard to get it anymore.”

The county is reaching a tipping point.

“As more and more people are vaccinated in Dane County, supply is beginning to outweigh demand,” Public Health Madison & Dane County said in an email statement. “This is something we anticipated happening.”

It’s why PHMDC is shifting gears and allowing drop-ins for people by car or on foot.

Appointment or not, those getting a vaccine come in the New Holland Pavilion where staff will get them set up and on their way, usually within about 45 minutes including the 15 minute waiting period, though PHMDC recommends budgeting 75 minutes to be safe.

PHMDC recommends that people get their second dose where they get their first dose, but if they’re unable to do so, they will not be turned away for a second shot at the Alliant Energy Center.

Appointments are still recommended, and those interested can sign up here. PHMDC is also resuming the use of Johnson & Johnson shots Wednesday, with plenty of appointments available as of Tuesday evening.

As vaccine availability opens up, people who have gotten their shots hope their worlds will open up a bit, too.

“I feel great,” Thomas said. “I’m excited to be able to enjoy my summer and not be locked up.”