Walgreens vaccine rollout begins throughout Wisconsin

Posted at 6:36 AM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 23:26:39-05

Walgreens has been selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide COVID-19 vaccinations in Wisconsin.

Vaccination will begin Friday, Feb. 12 to eligible citizens based on the state's guidelines including healthcare workers and persons 65 and older.

“Walgreens was one of the first pharmacies to begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations in December to long-term care facility staff and residents, and we look forward to leveraging our experience to support the federal government and CDC in expanding access to these vaccines,” said John Standley, president, Walgreens. “Our pharmacy teams have already provided nearly two million COVID-19 vaccinations and stand ready with their expertise to help educate and vaccinate additional Americans, including those in rural and underserved communities.”

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 178 Walgreens throughout Wisconsin will participate in the vaccine rollout.

DHS reports that each participating Walgreens will at first, only receive 100 doses of the vaccine. It's important to note that not every Walgreens locations will be participating.

Anyone that is eligible looking to get vaccinated at a local Walgreens can sign up online or inside the Walgreens mobile app.

If you are not in the eligible group at this time, Walgreens does give you the option to sign up for vaccine updates to alert you when you're eligible.

More than 175 Walgreens pharmacies across Wisconsin started administering Covid-19 vaccines Friday.

State health leaders say the goal is to reach more people, especially those in underserved areas. But on the first day of Walgreens vaccinations, most people we spoke with getting vaccinated in Milwaukee, drove from other areas.

“Getting this vaccine means everything because of our age, our underlying conditions, and our worry about going out,” said Liz Strong.

Liz, and her husband Ted, got their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Walgreens at 27th and North. Their son helped them navigate hours of failed attempts to register here.

“Yo go all the way through and answer about 50 questions, then you get to the end and it says try again later,” Strong said. “It was maddening.”

After finally getting through, the Walgreens location at 27th and North was the closest option they were given.

Signing-up online was also a challenge for Sue Lang and her husband, who drove from Muskego.

“It took a long time,” Lang said. “It was very frustrating. I’d try again and again, and sometimes I'd get a little bit further, but then it never made it all the way through. Once it did, the only spots that were open were this location for myself.”

Lang got her shot at the Walgreens on Milwaukee’s south side at 27th and National. Her husband got his at the Walgreens on the city’s north side, at Locust and King Drive.

These couples followed the rules and proved persistent in getting a required appointment, since walk-ins are not allowed. But from what we saw at every Walgreens we went to in the city of Milwaukee, the people who live closest to the stores are not necessarily the ones getting vaccinated at them yet.

For a lot of older people who are eligible, getting the vaccine also comes down to internet access, use of technology, and having someone available to help them navigate the process.

Supply is still limited. We know 178 Walgreens pharmacies in Wisconsin received about 100 doses each of the COVID-19 vaccine. The exact Walgreens locations have not been released.

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Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

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