COVID-19 vaccine information

UW–Madison will begin vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds starting Monday, May 17, 2021. Schedule your appointment now; drop-ins are also welcome beginning Monday.

COVID-19 vaccine is readily available on campus for everyone age 12 and older at the Nicholas Recreation Center, whether or not you are affiliated with the university. Vaccination is free and you do not need to present identification.

Make an appointment now or drop in Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm. The site is closed  at the noon hour, and drop-ins may be turned away after 4:15 p.m. At times, special clinic hours may be available and posted here.

The university offers all three currently authorized vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. If you require a specific vaccine please make an appointment to guarantee it’s available. Pfizer is the only vaccine currently authorized for use in individuals between the ages of 12 and 17.

If you have questions about vaccines, contact or call the UHS nurse line at 608-265-5600.

Community vaccination

In addition to Pfizer, authorized for people ages 12 and older, UHS also offers Moderna and Janssen/Johnson and Johnson, which are available for people 18 and older. Individuals under 18 are encouraged to make an appointment since Pfizer may not be available at the time of drop-in.

An adult must be present with anyone under 18 seeking vaccination, unless they are a UW–Madison student or employee. A parent or legal guardian must sign a consent form either on site or on the online appointment portal. Appointments should be made for the individual being vaccinated (see below).

Vaccinations are at the Nicholas Recreation Center (the Nick), 797 W. Dayton St. in Madison, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, with occasional expanded hours. The site will be closed at the noon hour, and drop-ins may be turned away after 4:15. At times,  special clinic hours may be available and will be posted here.

Schedule a vaccine appointment

  • Sign up at
  • Enter the agency code madisonvax
  • Complete the online registration form for the individual seeking vaccination
  • You will receive a one-time registration code sent to the email or phone number you provided
  • Create a password
  • Schedule your appointment
  • Show your barcode when you arrive for your appointment; you may print this out to bring with you, or log in again at your appointment at with the username and password you created when making your appointment.

If you have difficulty scheduling an appointment online, email

On the day of your appointment

Log in to with the username and password you created when you made your appointment and complete the Same-Day Screening and Consent Form in “Consent Forms” before your appointment. You will also need the barcode that appears when you sign in, which you can either print ahead of time or show on your smart device when you arrive at the Nicholas Recreation Center for your vaccine.

Getting to the Nicholas Recreation Center

  • View a map.
  • Hourly parking is available in Lot 46, or there are parking meters on W. Dayton Street in front of the Kohl Center. UHS validates parking.
  • Check Madison Metro for a list of routes that stop near the Nick, including 2, 3, 4, 6, and 9, and the 80 campus bus.
  • Bike racks are also available outside the Nick.
  • Enter the building’s main entrance at 797 W. Dayton Street and follow the signs to Courts 1 and 2. You may also ask for help at the front desk.

You do not need to show a negative test result to enter the building for your vaccine appointment.

Vaccination is safe. University Health Services staff will ask you to remain at the site for 15 minutes following your shot to make sure you don’t have a rare allergic reaction. Most people will not have a reaction.

If you receive a two-dose vaccine from UHS, either Moderna or Pfizer, you will be instructed to make an appointment for your second dose before you leave.

Vaccine Distribution


Find information and read state FAQs about vaccine eligibility.


Check the MyUHS portal for availability. Or, plan to drop in during the vaccination site open hours (see above).

We encourage you to seek vaccines anywhere they are offered, including from local pharmacies and your health care provider. Here are other ways to find vaccine off-campus.

There is no cost to vaccination regardless of where you go, though some vaccinators may ask to bill your health insurer for administration. You also do not need to show a state ID.

About the vaccines

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is administered in one dose. While some people will not have any side effects from the vaccine, others may experience symptoms such as headache and mild fever.

On April 13, 2021, use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was briefly paused after national vaccine safety monitoring found that a very small number of people — all women between 18 and 49 years old — out of millions who had received the vaccine developed rare blood clots and low platelets.

A sign that the safety mechanisms in place to detect adverse events was working properly, the pause gave the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration opportunity to further review available data and conduct extensive outreach to health care providers. This helps ensure they’re aware of the potential for this syndrome and able to provide appropriate management and treatment.

On April 23, 2021, the brief pause was lifted after a thorough safety review determined the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19. Medical and scientific experts determined that the chance of this syndrome occurring is very low. For women between ages 18 and 49, about 7 in one million may experience the condition.

If you receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, contact your health care provider immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms within three weeks of receiving your vaccine: shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, severe or persistent headaches, blurred vision, easy bruising or tiny spots under the skin beyond their injection site.

Find more information about the Johnson & Johnson side effects as well as more FAQs.


The Moderna vaccine must be administered in two doses separated by 28 days. While some people will not have any side effects from the vaccine, others may experience symptoms such as headache and mild fever. Find more information about the Moderna side effects as well as more FAQs.


The Pfizer vaccine must be administered in two doses separated by 21 days. While some people will not have any side effects from the vaccine, others may experience symptoms such as headache and mild fever. Pfizer is currently the only vaccine in the United States available to individuals as young as 12. Find more information about the Pfizer side effects as well as more FAQs.

For AstraZeneca vaccine research trial participants

If you are enrolled in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine research trial and are offered or are considering Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you can contact the research team with your questions. The research team will unblind you ahead of time to let you know if you received the actual vaccine or placebo injection. Contact the Office of Clinical Trials at 608-265-6507 or refer to the business card in your trial folder.

  • Per Dr. Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, there are no known risks to mixing the different brands but there is no data yet available to support this assumption.
  • It is uncertain if there are advantages to receiving the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines in addition to the AstraZeneca vaccine. While the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines offer enhanced protection against acquiring COVID-19, all of the vaccines are extremely effective against severe disease and hospitalization.

What to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines that require two shots may not protect you until two weeks after your second shot. You may have some side effects (* see below)— which are normal signs that your body is building protection—but they should go away in a few days.

After dose #1

  • Schedule your second dose appointment in MyUHS.
    Choose “Appointments” in the left-side menu. Be sure to select Dose 2.
  • Enroll in V-Safe, a federal government app-based program that monitors COVID-19 vaccine-related side effects. It sends a daily text reminder and takes less than one minute to enroll.
  • Take it easy. You will likely have some arm pain (most people do!).

After dose #2

  • Keep filling out your V-Safe.
  • Take it easy – again! Some people report more significant symptoms with the second dose.
  • Practice logging in to the Wisconsin Immunization Registry to verify your COVID-19 immunization status (in case you ever misplace your vaccine card).

After both doses

  • Continue to wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands
  • Maintain physical distance. At least seventy percent of the community needs to be vaccinated before we begin to achieve ‘herd immunity.’ This is still several months away.
  • Continue being tested regularly

You may experience one or more of these side effects after receiving your first dose, your second dose, or both. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first, unless a health care provider tells you not to get a second shot.

* Note that you should call your health care provider if you experience the following symptoms in the three weeks after you receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as these may be signs of a more serious and adverse reaction: severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath.

Typical side effects

  • Pain or swelling on the arm where you got the shot
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

Reduce pain or discomfort

  • Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Apply a clean, cool wet washcloth to your arm
  • Use or exercise your arm

When to call a health care provider

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if:

  • The redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  • Side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days
  • You experience the following symptoms within three weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath.

Parking Instructions

Parking is available without cost for those coming to be vaccinated by University Health Services (UHS) at the Nicholas Recreation Center (“the Nick”).

Lot 46 (Lake & Johnson Garage) is a gated facility. Pull a ticket to enter the lot and pick up a validation at the vaccination check-in table to cover the cost of parking when you exit the lot. Vaccination site parking is only accessible from Lot 46’s Frances Street entrance. Access is NOT available from the Lake Street entrance. The lot clearance height is 6 feet 8 inches.

Pull a ticket at the Frances Street entrance to enter the lot and proceed up the ramp (west, toward Lake Street) to reach the reserved parking stalls. Only park in designated stalls. Regular parking rules apply if you park in areas other than the designated stalls, and you may be subject to citation and/or payment of any associated fees.

Accessible Parking

ADA parking is available in signed ADA stalls with a valid DOT plate/placard. Please note: Lot 46 is located two city blocks north and a half-block east of the Nicholas Recreation Center. Eleven ADA stalls are available on the first floor after using the Lot 46 Frances Street entrance, six stalls on the east and five stalls on the west near the turn to ascend to Floor 2. However, closer ADA stall options are available in surface lot 48 (120 East Campus Mall) behind Ogg Residence Hall. Two ADA stalls are located on the west side of Lot 48. (Please do not park in the COVID-19 Testing reserved stalls.)

The entrance to The Nick is ADA accessible. Those needing an ADA accessible exit can use the same entrance from which they entered.

Vaccine FAQs

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

I was vaccinated off-campus. How do I let UHS know?


If you are being vaccinated off campus, wait until you have received either the single dose of a one-dose vaccine or both shots of a two-dose vaccine. Then take these steps to upload your records:

  • Log into MyUHS using your NetID and password.
  • Underneath the title “Welcome to UW–Madison University Health Services” you will see the following: “Submit outside records of COVID-19 Vaccination HERE.” Click or tap on the word “HERE.”
  • You will then be on the “Medical Clearances” page. Look for “COVID vaccine” under the heading “Items required for clearance.” Click or tap the green button that says “Update.”
  • Under “COVID-19 Immunization Record Upload” you will be prompted to upload a copy of your immunization record. This can be an image file (PNG, JPG, JPEG) or a PDF. Attempting to upload other kinds of files will result in an error message. Accepted records include:
    • The official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card you receive at your vaccine site. It must contain two patient identifiers, such as name and date of birth; vaccine lot number; vaccine name (for example, Moderna, Pfizer or Janssen/Johnson & Johnson); date of vaccination (there should be two dates for Moderna and Pfizer); clinic name (must be an official clinic name; if the clinic was a chain pharmacy, please include the store number). The example below shows these fields.A sample CDC vaccination card showing the five fields — noted above — that must be filled in.
    • Your Wisconsin Immunization Registry vaccination record
    • A state vaccination record from outside Wisconsin
    • For vaccination outside the U.S., the most complete record you have available. UHS will recognize vaccines maintained on the World Health Organization’s emergency use listing.
  • You will also need to enter the date of your one-dose vaccine and the vaccine manufacturer, or the dates of your two-dose vaccine and vaccine manufacturer in the section labeled “Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine.”
  • Click or tap “Done” when you are finished.

Allow up to five business days for the record to be reflected in your MyUHS account. While the record is under review your Medical Clearance information will indicate “awaiting review.” Once it is approved, this field will say “satisfied.” Your Badger Badge will turn green once it has been two weeks since your final dose and your record has been approved.

If you received your vaccination in Wisconsin, and cannot find the record in WIR, contact the WIR Help Desk at 608-266-9691 or email

Last updated 9:00 AM, May 12, 2021

I am not a UW student or employee. Can I receive a vaccine through the university?


Yes, visit to make an appointment. For instructions and more information, see

Last updated 9:40 AM, May 12, 2021

If I’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, do I still need to be tested?


Fully vaccinated individuals at UW–Madison will be exempted from routine COVID-19 testing. In order for the exemption to apply,

  • You must be at least 2 weeks past the date you received your second vaccine dose, or 2 weeks past the date you received a single-dose vaccine. The exemption will take effect 15  days from that date.
  • UHS must have a record of your vaccination. If you were vaccinated by UHS, they have your record. If you were not vaccinated by UHS, follow the instructions to upload your record in MyUHS. It may take up to 5 business days for your record to be reflected in MyUHS.
  • You will receive a message in the Safer Badgers app that says your Badger Badge will remain green without further testing, and the word exempt will appear under your picture in the badge. If your badge is not green at that time, you will need one more test to turn it green. Until you receive this message, you will need to continue testing in order to remain compliant.

After receiving the exemption, you are still required to show your Badger Badge at building entrances, wear a face covering, and practice physical distancing. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, isolate yourself from others and get tested as soon as possible. A positive test will turn your badge red.

Last updated 9:40 AM, May 12, 2021

What is UW–Madison's plan for vaccinating students?


Students can schedule appointments at Vaccination is a personal choice and UW–Madison strongly recommends it for the health of our community.

Students can also seek vaccine appointments off campus using

Last updated 9:40 AM, May 12, 2021

Does my Badger Badge need to indicate "building access granted" in order for me to enter the vaccination site?


No. While we encourage you to be in compliance with Badger Badge requirements, you will not be turned away from a vaccine appointment if your badge is not indicating “building access granted” (with a green checkmark).

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, are quarantining due to a possible exposure or are having symptoms, you should reschedule your vaccine appointment.

Last updated 9:41 AM, May 12, 2021

Where can I get vaccinated?

  • University Health Services
    • helps people more easily locate available vaccine providers who are open to the public.
  • The Wisconsin Department of Health Services vaccine registry
    • Public Health Madison & Dane County and others are also offering appointments to people who sign up through the DHS registry. Vaccines are given at the Alliant Energy Center by appointment only. Transportation is available for those who need it — more information about this service is provided when an appointment is made.
  • Your health care provider
    • Check with your provider about vaccine availability.
  • Pharmacies
    • A growing number of pharmacies, including many national retailers, are now offering vaccination. Check the DHS website for a list of participating pharmacies and information on how to make an appointment.
  • Community-based vaccination clinics
Last updated 9:38 AM, May 12, 2021

Do guests or visitors need to show proof that they are vaccinated or have had current negative COVID-19 test to attend on campus events/activities?


No. However, guests and visitors cannot use the Safer Badgers app and will not have access to any specific spaces, events, or other in-person activities that require a green Badger Badge for access.

Posted on 7:15 AM, May 12, 2021