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Vaccine supply now outpacing demand in Dane County

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 7:13 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Nearly four months into coronavirus vaccinations in Wisconsin, it’s now much easier to find an appointment than it was months ago. Local health officials say supply is now outpacing demand.

“We’re really excited that it seems like we’re at a tipping point where we finally have enough vaccine to meet demand,” said Ken Van Horn, Public Health Madison Dane County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.

Van Horn also leads vaccination efforts at Alliant Energy Center. “This might be the first week where we’re starting to see the vaccine supply exceed the demand,” he said. Dane County public health officials say vaccine distribution has evolved.

Public Health Madison Dane County has began vaccinating late December 2020. “Our initial weeks were 900 doses for the entire week for Dane Co. emergency EMS only...it was so limited.” Van Horn says now they’re seeing upwards of 7,000 doses each week.

Walk-in vaccine clinics are popping up around the city and thousands of available appointments are up for grabs at Alliant this week.

“We have the ability to open it up a little bit more so we’re not invite only anymore. The demand has changed over time so we’re trying to meet that demand in different ways,” said Tess Ellens, PHMDC Immunization Coordinator.

Area health systems are also seeing steady supply. Mo Kharbat, SSM Health’s VP of Pharmacy Services says they just learned that next week their allocation will increase significantly and by next week thousands of appointments will open up at their vaccine clinics. Availability will increase even more once the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is given the green light to resume distribution.

Dane County public health officials are now working to make it as simple as possible for people to make appointments by now providing a direct link people can use to schedule at Alliant.

“We’ve got majority of Dane Co. at least one dose...we’re still trying to reach out and get 20-30 percent of people who are eligible to get vaccinated because we want to reach that herd immunity mark,” said Van Horn.

PHMDC will release a new link to directly schedule vaccine appointments at Alliant each week as it works to build a site in the near future to make appointment scheduling even easier. Officials say if you need an appointment at Alliant, you’ll still have to register with the state vaccine registry first.

NBC15 also reached out to Rock County Public Health officials about vaccine demand. Officials say they are seeing similar trends with much availability throughout the county.

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