Wisconsin opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility April 5 to all residents age 16 and older, a month earlier than previously expected.
People covered under previous phases of the state’s vaccination rollout plan can still get the vaccine and may be prioritized above newer groups, according to local vaccinators. Previous groups include frontline health care workers, residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, police officers, firefighters, corrections workers, anyone 65 and older, teachers, child care workers, some public-facing essential workers such as food servers, staff and residents of congregate living facilities and individuals with certain medical conditions that increase their risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Some groups, including health care workers and educators, should contact their employers or facilities for details on when and where they can get shots. As eligibility has expanded, options for where to get vaccinated have also expanded: People can now choose to go through their regular medical provider, local pharmacies or community clinics, each of which have different procedures on how to sign up. A new law will allow dentists to join the ranks of potential vaccinators once they meet certain requirements.
Around a dozen locations in Sauk County are currently registered to provide vaccinations, including the county health department, three hospitals, several pharmacies and EMS stations, each with their own waiting list, sign-up process and requirements.
Many health care providers, such as SSM Health St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo and Reedsburg Area Medical Center, started out by contacting eligible patients in phases based on the state’s prioritization recommendations and other considerations. Both hospitals and Sauk Prairie Healthcare now also administer the vaccine to people who aren’t current patients.
SSM Health recently introduced a way for adults seeking their first dose to schedule an appointment online at SSMHealth.com. It is open to all Wisconsin residents, according to a news release. Appointments for second doses, if required, will be scheduled at the first.
The House of Wellness near Baraboo hosted a community vaccination event March 31, which was opened to anyone 18 or older when half of the individuals who pre-registered failed to show up. The Ho-Chunk Nation has been working to immunize its members at the House of Wellness for more than two months, but also is assisting public health partners in vaccinating the wider community, according to a March 9 news release. Now that state vaccination efforts are ramping up, the Nation plans to shift its focus back to tribal members, their families and employees only, said Kiana Beaudin, executive director of health. However, anyone who received their first shot at the House of Wellness will be able to get their second there, too.
Emphasizing the variability in their weekly vaccine allotment, health officials are asking residents to be patient. Treemanisha Stewart, public health director for Sauk County, said vaccinators submit bi-weekly requests to the state for the amount of vaccines they would like, and each week the state informs them of the amount they’ll actually get.
“Oftentimes, it is a far cry from what we actually requested,” Stewart said in a virtual public forum in March. “Sometimes our vaccinators don’t get any vaccines.”
She also urged everyone to sign up for only one waitlist, or, if they signed up for more than one, remove themselves from the other lists as soon as they get their first shot. But in neighboring Columbia County, the health director recently suggested residents contact as many providers as possible to get on their waitlists, according to the Daily Citizen.
As of Monday, 37.4% of Sauk County residents have received at least one vaccine dose and 26.3% — 16,928 people — are fully inoculated, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
- Corner Drug Hometown Pharmacy (downtown Baraboo), 522 Oak St. Appointments required. Call 608-356-8701 or fill out the form online at hometownpharmacyrx.com/covid-19-vaccine for an appointment.
- Corner Drug Hometown Pharmacy (Dean Clinic), 1700 Tuttle St., Baraboo. Appointments required. Call 608-356-6966 or fill out the form online at hometownpharmacyrx.com/covid-19-vaccine for an appointment.
- House of Wellness, S2845 White Eagle Road, Baraboo. Vaccinating eligible Ho-Chunk Nation enrolled tribal members, significant others of tribal members and Ho-Chunk Nation employees; pre-registration required at health.ho-chunk.com.
- SSM Health Baraboo clinic, 1700 Tuttle St. Current patients with MyChart accounts can schedule a vaccine through MyChart or by calling 608-250-1222 if they haven't already been contacted by phone, mail or email. Non-patients may also call to schedule an appointment or schedule online at SSMHealth.com. For ages 16-17, call 608-250-1222 to schedule an appointment at a location with Pfizer vaccine.
- Sauk County Public Health, 505 Broadway St., Baraboo. Eligible people who live or work in Sauk County can sign up for the waiting list online or call 608-355-3290.
- Reedsburg Ambulance Service, 230 Railroad St. Appointments required; waiting list available at hipaa.jotform.com/210195449675161.
- Reedsburg Area Medical Center Specialty Group, 1104 21st St., Reedsburg. Appointments required. Patients are being contacted directly in order of age. If you are not a current patient but live in Reedsburg or a surrounding community, call 608-524-8611 to be placed on a call list.
- Ballweg Family Pharmacy, 1200 Prairie St., Prairie du Sac. Appointments required. COVID-19 vaccination request form available at form.jotform.com/210704823702144.
- Eannelli Pharmacy, 405 Water St., Prairie du Sac. Appointments required. Call 608-643-3396 or fill out the form at form.jotform.com/210244730242139 to be added to the waiting list.
- Sauk Prairie Healthcare, WellSpring 80 1st St., Prairie du Sac. Appointments required. Register for the waiting list at SaukPrairieHealthcare.org/COVID19-vaccine or call and leave a message at 608-644-3049.
- Prairie Clinic, 112 Helen St., Sauk City. Vaccinating eligible current patients by appointment only. Patients will be contacted by the clinic to make an appointment when vaccine is available.
- Spring Green EMS, 327 S. Winsted St. Appointments required. Register online at springgreenems.com/vaccine or call 608-963-8741.
- Walgreens pharmacies: Limited vaccines are available at select Walgreens locations. To check availability, visit walgreens.com or call 1-800-925-4733. Pharmacies in Baraboo (608-356-1171), Reedsburg (608-524-1228), Sauk City (608-643-5182) and Wisconsin Dells (608-254-5760).
- Walmart pharmacies: Limited vaccines are available at select Walmart locations. To check availability, visit walmart.com.
For questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, how to get vaccinated or related medical issues, call the state's toll-free helpline at 844-684-1064.
Where and when to get tested for COVID-19 in Sauk County:
- Mondays in Spring Green: 11 a.m. to noon at Spring Green Fire/EMS, 327 S. Winsted St.; two-step online registration and appointment required at springgreenems.com.
- Tuesdays in Reedsburg: 9-11 a.m. at Reedsburg Ambulance Service, 230 Railroad St.; online registration required at register.covidconnect.wi.gov.
- Thursdays in Prairie du Sac: 2-4 p.m. at Sauk Prairie Healthcare Wellspring Location, 55 Prairie Ave.; two-step registration required, starting with questionnaire at register.covidconnect.wi.gov and then make an appointment by calling 608-643-7603.
- Fridays in Baraboo (except April 2): 8 a.m. to noon, Circus World parking lot, 550 Water St.; two-step online registration and appointment required at forms.gle/uXHPPe86hiosRHbN8.
For more information:
- Sauk County Health Department: co.sauk.wi.us/publichealth
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services: go.madison.com/vaccine
- Other local health departments: go.madison.com/local
- SSM Health: ssmhealth.com/newsroom/2021/1/covid-19-vaccine-rollout-in-wisconsin
- Reedsburg Area Medical Center: ramchealth.com
- Sauk Prairie Healthcare: saukprairiehealthcare.org
Editor’s note: This story was updated April 12 and corrected March 28 to reflect that individuals with certain medical conditions have been eligible for COVID-19 vaccination since March 22.
Follow Susan Endres on Twitter @EndresSusan or call her at 745-3506.