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Testing begins for Wisconsin DHS' new COVID-19 vaccine registry

Posted at 5:42 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 18:42:14-05

MILWAUKEE — There is already an urgent effort to get everyone in Wisconsin vaccinated. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is hoping its new vaccine registry will make the process both faster and easier.

"I thought if I did get coronavirus, I may not do as well with it,” said Barry Stapleton, who is waiting to get his vaccine.

Stapleton, 58, said he has lost four friends during the pandemic. He is not quite eligible for the vaccine himself, but after a lifetime of battling ailments such as cancer, diabetes and asthma, he is eagerly awaiting his turn.

"But this has been a year now, so I am anxious to get out and have a burger and beer somewhere,” Stapleton said.

RELATED: Registry to help Wisconsin residents sign up for COVID-19 vaccine to launch in March

Charlie Clausing is a nursing assistant who is eligible for the vaccine, but hasn't gotten it yet. She is also anxious for a streamlined system.

"Having to not worry about the possibility of missing the work, getting sick and making it that much easier to get access would be so nice,” she said.

Right now, nine health departments are testing the new system, three in southeast Wisconsin. The Waukesha County Health Department is looking to see if this new state system has better features than the one they currently use.

"The vaccine lot number, the expiration date, the person's name and who has administered the shot will all be in the state's registry,” said Lance Spranger, Chief Information Officer with Waukesha County.

In addition to an information database, people will be able to schedule their vaccine appointment or join a waiting list. DHS is hoping for an early March launch, but testing is just starting.

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