State COVID-19 Vaccine Registry To Start March 1

Online Tool Will Allow People To Schedule Shots, Get On Waiting List For Limited Vaccine

A man receives a COVID-19 vaccine.
A man receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Las Vegas. John Locher/AP Photos

Wisconsin plans to start testing software for a vaccine registry next week with a phased rollout beginning March 1. That coincides with vaccine eligibility for teachers, grocery store workers and others in phase 1b.

The new registry will allow people to sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations if they’re eligible or get on a waiting list if they aren’t in a priority group.

In addition to helping Wisconsin residents schedule appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccine registry can send reminders to those already vaccinated to make sure they get their second vaccine dose, as well as help them monitor for any side effects after they get the vaccine, according to a press release from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

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“This registry will be vital in our effort to get all Wisconsinites access to the COVID-19 vaccine,” Gov. Tony Evers said. “It will make it easier for the public to get vaccinated, and assist vaccinators in tracking available supply. It is important to remember that the vaccine supply in Wisconsin is extremely limited and that most people will not be able to get appointments to be vaccinated right away.”

A small group of local health departments will be testing the software starting Monday, Feb. 22. Those departments include:

  • Central Racine County Health Department
  • City of Menasha Health Department
  • City of Wauwatosa Health Department
  • Green County Public Health
  • Marathon County Health Department
  • Oneida County Public Health Department
  • Public Health Madison and Dane County
  • Rock County Public Health
  • St. Croix County Public Health
  • Waukesha County Public Health

The software will be rolled out to other health departments starting March 1, with a goal to have the registry available to all interested vaccinators in the state by April 1, according to DHS.

Several people have reached out to WPR’s WHYsconsin asking for an update on the portal since Monday, the day the state previously said the online signup could go live.

Vaccine supply from the federal government to the state has steadily gone up. Next week Wisconsin will distribute 115,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine around the state, an increase of 64 percent from mid-January, according to DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk.

“But we need your patience and your perseverance going forward. It will take time, but everyone in our state will have the opportunity to get vaccinated,” said Willems Van Dijk during a Thursday media briefing.

Many health systems are already scheduling vaccinations for patients through online portals like MyChart. Additionally, pharmacies and local health departments may have their own system to connect vaccinators with those wanting shots. The Wisconsin Vaccine Registry will only display organizations that opt in, DHS says it will not be a comprehensive resource for all vaccination options.

Applicants without internet access or who need help using the vaccine registry will be able to contact a call center to help guide them through the process or schedule an appointment.

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