UW-Madison to increase vaccine opportunities for students and staff, 3,500 appointments open next week

MADISON, Wis. – After weeks of receiving roughly 700-1000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, UW-Madison will administer 3,500 doses beginning next week.

While nearly 40 percent of staff and students have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, on campus appointments have remained scarce. Campus officials say they hope by offering more opportunities to get the shot, they can help minimize the effects of the virus on campus.

After weeks of not having as much vaccination supply as we were hoping for, we really are starting to se a substantial increase in vaccine,” said UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone. “We’re making an all out press in these last few weeks in the semester to get as many students and employees vaccinated as possible.”

This includes opening up appointments this weekend on both Saturday and Sunday. Students and faculty are able to register using a MyUHS account.

Any point where you can stop a transmission by having an individual vaccinated, that can make an exponential difference as far as how that spreads throughout a group and a certain community,” said Megan Crass, Deputy Medical Director with University Health Services. “We’re really hopeful that the more students and staff that get vaccinated and more community members that get vaccinated, we can really get this under control.”

McGlone says through mitigation efforts and vaccinations, COVID-19 positivity rate on campus has dropped to a fraction of a percent. Still, she and Crass say they worry if left unchecked, cases could climb on campus for a third time. 

This becomes even more important when we’re talking about the newer variants,” Crass said.  “We certainly again encourage people to understand that they have the ability to spread this disease, even if they’re mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic that can affect a large number of people in these settings.”

McGlone says while a limited in-person graduation commencement ceremony is on the books, students caught violating campus protocols could face suspension or even expulsion, depending on severity and the student’s previous record.