How various vaccine locations are preparing for increase in eligible patients at the end of March
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- In just two weeks, those with certain health conditions will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Wisconsin, starting March 29.
"It's going to be quite a rush," said Bushra Zaibak, COVID-19 vaccine clinic manager and an owner at Hayat Pharmacy.
Hayat Pharmacy opened up three vaccination dates for the end of March for those eligible for the vaccine starting March 29.
"They're completely booked for the March 29 patients," said pharmacist Lauren Splawn.
Splawn says they'll open more appointments as they learn more about the vaccine allotments they will be receiving.
At Infinity Pharmacy, they're also getting a lot of questions from those eligible at the end of the month.
"If they are still not phase eligible, they can just sign up on the waitlist and we contact them if we end up with extra doses and we can't find anyone who is eligible to get it, or once the phases open they are on the waitlist so they have the priority," said Marwa Bakr, pharmacist and owner at Infinity Pharmacy.
A Walgreens Corporate Spokesperson said:
"Walgreens follows federal CDC, state and local guidelines for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines. In this fluid situation, where eligibility varies significantly by area per federal and state directions, we are working to ensure updated eligibility guidelines are reflected in our scheduler as soon as they are implemented by states and jurisdictions.
As a patient-focused retailer, our role is to administer the vaccine based on the priorities set by our government partners. As such, only Wisconsin customers who are eligible under the current state guidelines are able to schedule vaccine appointments. We look forward to expanding our in-store vaccine offering as more vaccine becomes available.
Advocate Aurora Health released a statement that said:
"Based on available supply, our goal is to expand vaccinations to more of our Advocate Aurora Health patients in line with the CDC and our states’ phased eligibility guidelines. We’re contacting our patients directly when it’s their turn to make an appointment. The vaccine is our ticket out of the pandemic, and we continue to encourage everyone to step up when it's their turn and supplies allow."
A spokesperson for Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin said:
"Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria as defined by the state can schedule their first-dose COVID vaccine online at froedtert.com/covidvaccine beginning on the date the state opens up to the new eligible group. In other words, people have to wait and can’t “hold” an appointment now if they’re not in the currently eligible group.
While individuals are waiting to get the vaccine, we encourage the community to stay connected with us by downloading the Froedtert & MCW mobile app and signing up or linking their MyChart account. When the vaccine is available to those individuals, we will notify them (print letters, texts, emails, phone and via MyChart) about how to set up appointments to be vaccinated. Stay informed by visiting froedtert.com/covidvaccine. The vaccine is offered at no cost to the recipient."
Waukesha County also has a waitlist. People can sign up on the county's website or by calling the vaccination hotline at 262-548-7626.
In Wauwatosa, they are using the state Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Registry for appointments. People can sign up even if they are not currently eligible. Once they are eligible, they will be sent a link to register for an appointment when one is available.
Interim Health Officer Laura Stephens says right now, the eligibility questions for the Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Registry do not capture all medical conditions under the March 29 eligibility group.
In Racine County, the health departments are scheduling appointments week by week, for the most part, based on how much vaccine supply they have, according to a spokesperson.
The community-based clinic at Regency Mall in Racine, which starts March 23, will also be using the Wisconsin Vaccine Registry.
"Greenfield and partners (Greendale, Franklin & Hales Corners) are working collaboratively starting this week on educators and broader population groups anticipated later this month. Our limitation is still vaccine, and we can only advertise and fill clinics a week at a time," said Greenfield Health Officer Darren Rausch.