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PHMDC letting people schedule COVID-19 vaccinations themselves

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 9:04 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 21, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Dane Co. health officials are offering a direct link to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations at the Alliant Energy Center.

Public Health Madison & Dane Co. had been spreading the word all week that it had many unfilled appointments at the drive-through clinic.

Click here to schedule an appointment at the Alliant Energy Center.

Up until now, the agency had been directing people to begin the scheduling process by going through the Dept. of Health Service website. After doing so, people would later be contacted by local health officials to set up the appointment.

On Wednesday, however, PHMDC tweeted a link to allow people to pick their appointment times themselves, enter their information, and confirm.

The appointments listed on the website only cover this week and the link provided will expire on Saturday, April 24. The site indicates people would be registering for their first dose of the Pfizer version of the vaccine.

While the new PHMDC link does allow someone to circumvent the state website to initially schedule the appointment, people who sign up will still need to register with DHS before their appointment so the PHMDC has the information it needs to deliver the vaccination.

PHMDC has previously said asked that individuals either live or work in the county to schedule and appointment there. An agency spokesperson told NBC15 News Monday that if they could fill all of the slots with local residents they will open up to surrounding counties.

MORE EQUITABLE ACCESS

PHMDC also announced Wednesday an initiative to reach more community members of color, noting that the vaccination rates in the Black and Asian communities are lagging compared to their white counterparts. Additionally, approximately a third of the Hispanic community has received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared with nearly half of everyone else.

Health officials noted the distribution of the vaccine has been affected by the rollout, explaining that people of color in the region are more likely to be younger, whereas older residents were initially targeted after first responders. Similarly, a larger percentage of Black and Hispanic residents are under 18 years old and, so far, only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved and that is just for those 16 and 17 years old.

To help reach those communities, PHMDC officials plan to use a three-pronged approach: holding town halls and other community events to explain the importance of the vaccinations, offering mobile clinics staffed with bilingual workers, and trying to get other local vaccinators to go out and do their own mobile clinics.

“Making sure our community has equitable access to vaccine is a priority. We’re proud that Public Health is part of a partnership of vaccinators reaching out to people in our area for whom access to vaccine is a challenge,” Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said.

PHMDC pointed out that it has weekly mobile clinics scheduled through the end of May.

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