DHS rolls out mobile COVID-19 vaccination teams

Nine teams will be ready to go on Tuesday, the governor’s office says.
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 12:29 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 15, 2021 at 2:27 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Dept. of Health Services plans to deploy mobile vaccination teams to reach more people as state health officials prepare to allow more people to receive their first doses.

When the program launches on Tuesday, Jan. 19, the state will have nine teams ready to go with plans already in place to add more, Gov. Tony Evers’ office announced Friday. They will be made up of members of the Wisconsin National Guard and volunteer pharmacy or nursing students.

“It has always been our goal to get folks vaccinated as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible,” Gov. Evers said. “These mobile vaccination teams are going to help us do just that by continuing to expand vaccine distribution across our state, leveraging partnerships and our best resources to meet folks where they are in their own communities.”

A day before the teams start rolling, DHS expects to start offering the coronavirus vaccine to individuals in the 1B group, starting with police officers and firefighters.

DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm called the program “an especially critical tool” for the state’s vaccine rollout, pointing out that the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated health inequalities in Wisconsin, in which some communities have less access and resources to be treated.

“The Mobile Vaccination initiative will help close gaps in accessibility and ensure that every Wisconsinite will have the opportunity to get protected against COVID-19,” she said.

The University of Wisconsin System has also extended a $500 tuition credit to its pharmacy and nursing students who participate in this program, with System President Tommy Thompson saying they can provide critical help to the vaccination effort.

“We are pleased to offer this tuition credit and appreciate the partnership with Gov. Tony Evers as we once again demonstrate the Wisconsin Idea at work – where there’s a problem facing Wisconsin, UW System is part of the solution,” he added.

Prior to being deployed, the volunteering students will have to complete required training courses.

As always, state health officials remind people that despite the coronavirus vaccine rollout, everyone should still take precautions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, including social distancing and wearing a mask.

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