COVID-19 vaccine information

UW–Madison is vaccinating all eligible students and employees.
Schedule your appointment now
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Don’t forget to upload your vaccine record to MyUHS.

UHS is providing vaccination to eligible community members who drop in to the clinic and register for a vaccine appointment. COVID-19 vaccine is readily available on campus for everyone age 12 and older at University Health Services, whether or not you are affiliated with the university. Vaccination is free and you do not need to present identification..

Community vaccination

The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people ages 12 and older. UHS also offers the Moderna vaccine which is available for people 18 and older. A parent or legal guardian must sign a consent form on site.

Vaccinations are at University Health Services (UHS), 333 East Campus Mall in Madison, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and closed at the noon hour. At times, special clinic hours may be available and will be posted here.

If you have difficulty scheduling an appointment online, email

Getting to University Health Services

  • View a map.
  • Hourly parking is available in Lot 46. UHS validates parking.
  • Check Madison Metro for a list of routes that stop near UHS, including 2, 3, 4, 6, and 9, and the 80 campus bus.
  • Bike racks are also available outside UHS in the East Campus Mall or in the underground parking area.
  • Enter the building’s main entrance at 333 East Campus Mall and follow the signs to the elevators. Take the elevators to the 6th floor. The vaccine clinic is located just beyond the elevator lobby.

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 about vaccine eligibility.


Check the MyUHS portal for availability.

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.

  • Sign up for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services registry. Once you are registered, DHS will email you with off-campus appointment options. They will not email you about appointment options on campus.
  • Effective June 26, 2021, the community testing and vaccination site at the Alliant Energy Center will be closed. Public Health Madison & Dane County will continue to provide vaccination services in their existing spaces including the South Madison and East Washington offices in addition to hosting mobile vaccination clinics throughout the county.

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)

We no longer offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and will not be getting any more doses in the future.


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 at University Health Services.

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 across the street from UHS. 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.

The entrance to UHS is ADA accessible.

Vaccine FAQs

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Why do I have to wear a mask if I'm vaccinated?

Because the Delta variant of COVID-19 is more contagious, wearing masks provides important additional protection to both unvaccinated and vaccinated people. While vaccinated people are at lower risk of getting COVID-19 than unvaccinated people (and have a lower risk of severe outcomes), well-fitting masks further reduce the chances that you are exposed to the virus and unintentionally spread the virus to unvaccinated people, including children. Masking is a tool that is part of a collective strategy to reduce risks, particularly at times when high levels of virus are spreading in the community.

Last updated 4:55 PM, September 3, 2021

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


If you are being vaccinated off campus, including by a UW Health clinic or by a UW Health provider, wait until you have received either the single dose of a one-dose vaccine or both shots of a two-dose vaccine.

Upload your record directly to MyUHS:

    • Log into MyUHS using your NetID and password.
    • Select “Enter my COVID-19 Vaccine information.”
    • 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.” You will receive an email from UHS when your record is 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 9:13 AM, September 16, 2021

Should students have their vaccine cards available during the school year?


We encourage the entire campus community to upload their vaccination record. While we don’t anticipate you needing to show your card on campus, you may be asked for it off campus. Some local event venues and restaurants have announced they will be requiring proof of vaccination. We’d suggest at least carrying a digital copy of your vaccine card.

Last updated 4:14 PM, September 14, 2021

Do I need to get vaccinated to participate in a UW–Madison study abroad/away program?

We strongly encourage all participants to be fully vaccinated with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized vaccine (Modern, Pfizer, or Johnson and Johnson) or World Heath Organization (WHO)-approved COVID-19 vaccine prior to their program start date.

UW–Madison does not require that participants be vaccinated. However, countries may require proof of vaccination for entry, and some programs and partners may also require proof of vaccination prior to participation. Additionally, country and program protocols such as mandatory quarantines, travel policies, course and activity participation, housing options, and testing requirements may vary by vaccination status. Being fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO approved vaccine will result in a less burdensome and safer traveling, living, and learning experience for you and those you interact with given dynamic worldwide conditions due to COVID-19.

It is your responsibility to understand and abide by the vaccination requirements (including acceptable vaccine types and verification methods) for your specific program and location(s), as well as any country you may travel through or visit during your time abroad. Note that restrictions and regulations may change at any time. Any related delays, penalties, quarantines, program status changes or cancellations, and associated costs are the full responsibility of the student.

We encourage you to bring your COVID-19 vaccination record card when abroad and to also have copies available as a back-up.

You will need to research and monitor your country and program requirements. The U.S. Embassy is a good source for the country(ies) you’re visiting. For program specific requirements, please read all of your program materials carefully as well as reach out to your study abroad advisor if you have any questions.

Last updated 2:31 PM, September 8, 2021

I've been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Do I need to quarantine and for how long?


If you are not fully vaccinated and have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should quarantine yourself immediately for 10 days. Unvaccinated employees and students can leave quarantine after 10 days (including returning to work and to in-person class) following your most recent exposure, provided you do not develop symptoms of COVID-19. You must quarantine for 10 days even if you test negative for COVID-19 before that time. If you are required to complete weekly testing on campus, you should plan to do so while in quarantine, but limit your interactions with others, avoid shared and public transportation, and wear a mask.

If you are fully vaccinated (it has been two weeks since your final dose of the vaccine), you are not required to quarantine even if you have a close contact who is positive for COVID-19. You should get a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after a known exposure and at any point if you experience symptoms.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 90 days, you should monitor for symptoms; you do not need to test or quarantine following a close contact. However, if you develop symptoms, you should isolate yourself and get tested.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, you should get tested for COVID-19 and isolate immediately. If your test result is negative, you should consult a health care provider before returning to work or class.

For more information about quarantine and isolation, including information for students in residence halls, visit:

Last updated 10:48 AM, September 16, 2021

Will UW–Madison require students and employees to be vaccinated?

As of Sept. 1, 92 percent of employees and 88 percent of students are vaccinated. This high level of vaccination means that we have a robust level of protection on campus and fewer members of our population will experience severe infections caused by COVID-19, compared to areas with lower vaccination rates.

As we’ve done throughout the pandemic, we’re escalating our approach when needed to respond to increasing cases locally. We’ve reinstituted a mask requirement, we’ve broadened testing requirements and we’re prepared to take additional action if appropriate, in coordination with System President Tommy Thompson and other System chancellors.

Last updated 8:08 AM, September 2, 2021

Can I become vaccinated and then be exempt from mandatory weekly testing?

Yes. Vaccination is safe, effective and available for free on campus and in the community. The state of Wisconsin has announced a $100 vaccine reward for Wisconsin residents who get their first vaccine dose between August 20 and September 19.

Once you are considered fully vaccinated, you will be exempt from testing. You will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after you receive a one-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) or the second of a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). If you are vaccinated on campus, UHS will have your vaccine record. If you are vaccinated off campus, follow the above instructions to share your record. After completing your vaccine series, you must continue to test until you are two weeks beyond getting your final dose.

Last updated 10:08 AM, September 3, 2021

I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to get vaccinated?

Yes, people who recovered from COVID-19 should get vaccinated. Evidence suggests that antibodies from natural infection may not be as robust or long-lasting as those from vaccination and that vaccination may offer better protection against new variants than those from a natural infection. A recent study showed that individuals who are unvaccinated are twice as likely to get infected again than those who are fully vaccinated.

Students and employees are required to test weekly for COVID-19 if UHS does not have proof of vaccination. Learn more about how to submit proof of vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccine is readily available on campus for all eligible students and employees. Schedule your appointment at UHS now.

Last updated 3:05 PM, August 18, 2021

How can I check my vaccination status with UHS?

You can either use the new MyUHS app or login to the UHS website. On the login page, click the “Immunizations” link on the left side to view a list of all your vaccines UHS has on record. If you need to upload your COVID-19 vaccination record, click here for detailed instructions.

Posted on 2:12 PM, August 27, 2021

How will UHS contact me regarding vaccine information and other personal health issues?

You can either use the new MyUHS app or login to the UHS website. On the login page, click the “Messages” link on the left side to see if you have a message. You will also receive an email alerting you that you have a secure message. You can respond or send a new secure message to UHS.

Posted on 2:15 PM, August 27, 2021

If I was vaccinated for COVID-19 outside of the United States, do I need to get or can I get a U.S.-based vaccine?

What you need to do depends on the type of vaccination you received and whether you completed the series. If you received:

A Food and Drug Administration-authorized vaccine (Modern, Pfizer, or Johnson and Johnson):

  • If you had two doses of Moderna or Pfizer or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson, you have completed the series.
  • If you are immunocompromised, you might qualify for an additional dose if you received Modern and Pfizer. There is not yet a recommendation for additional doses if you received Johnson and Johnson, but more information should be available soon.
  • If you received just one dose of Moderna or Pfizer, you should seek a second dose as close to the recommended timeframe as possible (28 days for Moderna, 21 days for Pfizer)

A vaccine listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization:

  • If you completed a vaccine series, you should not seek additional doses. There is currently no authorization to provide you with additional FDA-authorized vaccines, though we will continue to monitor guidance.
  • If you completed just part of a series, you should seek a complete, FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series. You should wait until it’s been at least 28 days since your last dose to begin an FDA-authorized vaccine series.

A non-WHO-listed or FDA-authorized vaccine:

  • If you received all or part of a vaccine that is not currently authorized by the FDA or granted emergency use listing by the WHO, you should seek a complete, FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series. You should wait until it’s been at least 28 days since your last dose to begin an FDA-authorized vaccine series.

You must receive all recommended doses of an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed COVID-19 vaccine to be considered fully vaccinated.

Last updated 8:19 AM, September 1, 2021

Do I need to get another dose of vaccine and if so where should I get it?

If your immune system is moderately to severely compromised and you already received two doses of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), seek a third dose. University Health Services is offering additional doses to immunocompromised students. Because the latest vaccine guidance for immunocompromised people involves complex health circumstances, employees should consult their health care provider about an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose.

If you are not immunocompromised and you received two doses of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), the federal government announced that some individuals will be eligible for a booster shot beginning Sept. 20. The university is reviewing this announcement and will share more information as it becomes available.

Currently, there is no recommendation that individuals who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine get an additional dose of any COVID-19 vaccine, but there is ongoing investigation into whether this may be needed.

The university will share more information as it becomes available.

Last updated 9:15 PM, August 23, 2021

What app is being used for COVID-19 testing and vaccination appointments?

The MyUHS app has replaced the Safer Badgers app, giving students and employees the ability to schedule vaccination and COVID testing appointments and view their test results. A web version of MyUHS is available at   We encourage all students and employees to download the app.

The app is available for iPhone and Android (version 10 and above). If you are not able to upgrade to Android 10, you may use the web version of MyUHS at More information and a link to download the app is available at

Posted on 8:34 AM, August 23, 2021

I received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. With variants like Delta, do I need to get a booster with an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer)?

At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services do not recommend additional vaccination for people who have received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The vaccine provides strong protection from Covid-19, and in individuals who do experience breakthrough infection, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine helps protect against severe disease and hospitalization, rendering it similar to other types of respiratory illness. Evidence also suggests vaccinated people are unlikely to transmit the virus to others. UHS, along with other vaccine providers in the state, are not offering second doses of any vaccine to individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Please do not show up to the vaccine clinic to receive a second dose if you have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as staff will not be able to provide you with another dose. The university will continue to monitor related national and state guidance.

Posted on 8:49 AM, July 8, 2021

I have a disability or underlying medical condition as identified by the CDC that puts me at greater risk of serious illness and I am not comfortable being on campus. What can I do?

Please be aware that a majority of employees and students have already received at least one dose and many are fully vaccinated.

For employees: If you have specific concerns related to a medical condition/disability that you have, please talk to your Divisional Disability Representative (DDR) about an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees who do not wish to disclose disability or medical information may seek to work remotely through the Remote Work Policy and the employee’s request will be evaluated in the same manner as other remote work requests, and not as an accommodation request under the ADA.

For students: UW–Madison will offer primarily in-person classes in the 2021-22 academic year. Many of the University’s academic programs have essential in-person components. If you have a disability that impacts your ability to attend in person activities, you may work with the McBurney Disability Resource Center to explore possible accommodations. Requests for remote participation will require a letter from your health care provider and approval will be contingent upon determining feasibility for each course with the course instructor.

Last updated 10:49 PM, August 11, 2021

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

UW-Madison is achieving a high vaccination rate through a combination of beginning early with repeated messaging and visible marketing, an emphasis on data analysis and targeted outreach and a laser-like focus on the topic from Chancellor Blank and her leadership team, along with UHS and other campus units that have made vaccination a high priority.

As of Sept. 1, 88 percent of students are vaccinated. This high level of vaccination means that we have a robust level of protection on campus and fewer members of our population will experience severe infections caused by COVID-19, compared to areas with lower vaccination rates.

Students can schedule appointments at Students can also seek vaccine appointments off campus using

Once students submit proof that they are fully vaccinated (14 days past final dose) and the information is processed, they will no longer be required to test regularly.

Last updated 8:06 AM, September 2, 2021

Although I am fully vaccinated, I (or a household member) have a health condition that puts me (them) at greater risk of serious illness if I (they) contract COVID-19. I am not comfortable being around unmasked people unless I know they are fully vaccinated. What can I do?

As of Sept. 1, 92 percent of employees and 88 percent of students are vaccinated. This high level of vaccination, combined with the requirement for masks to be worn indoors, means that we have a robust level of protection on campus and fewer members of our population will experience severe infections caused by COVID-19, compared to areas with lower vaccination rates.

In addition to wearing a mask indoors, as currently required, you may also continue to wear a mask outdoors if you wish. If you have specific concerns related to a medical condition that someone in your household has, please speak with your Human Resources representative if you are an employee or check in with the Dean of Students Office for support if you are a student.

Please note that employees are not entitled to accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for a family member’s underlying medical condition.

Last updated 8:07 AM, September 2, 2021

I am not fully vaccinated and will be living off campus. What should I do once I arrive in Madison from a location outside the United States?

Testing/vaccination guide for international students living off campus during the fall 2021 semester

When you arrive in the U.S., it is recommended you self-quarantine for 7 days and be tested three to five days after travel.  UW–Madison employees and students are eligible to be tested at a UHS testing location.

Family members who are not UW employees/students can be tested at locations offered by Public Health Madison & Dane County or Urgent Care and other medical facilities. It is advised to check websites or call in advance for testing locations and other information. If you have children, check with your child’s pediatrician about testing recommendations.

After quarantining for 7 days, testing negative for COVID-19 and if you are not experiencing any symptoms, you are eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19.  Students, employees and family members can get vaccinated thru UHS at no cost. UHS has Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines available.  If you choose to be vaccinated at an off campus provider – please be sure and upload your vaccination information to UHS.

Last updated 8:45 PM, August 31, 2021

Is it okay to ask someone I work with if they have been vaccinated?

No. A person’s vaccination status is private, just like any other medical issue or condition, and employees should not be asked to share this information. In general, especially as more people become eligible for vaccination due to health conditions, it is good etiquette to avoid asking people their vaccination status. Anyone who wants to share their vaccine status information with others is free to do so on their own terms, but there is no requirement to share this information with others with whom they work and/or report.

Last updated 2:24 PM, May 26, 2021

I was vaccinated outside the U.S. Does this mean I am fully vaccinated after 14 days?

An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or the first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The 14 days is the standard used by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for vaccines with an Emergency Use Authorization or Emergency Use Listing. This currently includes vaccines manufactured by Oxford–AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinopharm-BBIBP, Moderna, Sinovac, and Johnson & Johnson.

Last updated 8:40 AM, August 20, 2021

Is UHS offering additional doses of Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to immunocompromised students?

University Health Services is able to offer third doses of Moderna or Pfizer to students whose immune systems are moderately to severely compromised. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this includes people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

To schedule a third dose, make an appointment via MyUHS (app or online).

Last updated 2:20 PM, September 8, 2021

What is a COVID breakthrough case and does this change our confidence in the vaccines?

Breakthrough cases occur when a person who has been vaccinated against an illness contracts that illness.

Breakthrough cases are not unique to the COVID-19 vaccine and are inevitable, given that no vaccine is 100 percent effective. Given the scope of the pandemic, researchers and public health experts are following these cases extremely closely. COVID vaccines remain highly effective and vaccinated individuals are far less likely than unvaccinated individuals to contract COVID-19.

As more people are vaccinated, chances are greater that we will hear about more breakthrough infections. These cases still represent a very small fraction of the total number of people who are fully vaccinated.

The purpose of a vaccine is to reduce both the chances of getting a disease and, among those who experience breakthrough cases, to reduce the negative outcomes of the disease. In the case of COVID-19, the goals are as follows: 1) reduce transmission all together and 2) if transmission does happen, reduce severity (less severe symptoms, fewer hospitalizations and deaths).

Current evidence suggests that the vaccines authorized by the FDA accomplish these goals. The risk of transmission in fully vaccinated people is very low. The CDC and FDA are monitoring this constantly. If they notice an increase in breakthrough cases above what is statistically expected, it may mean that booster shots need to be considered. At present, the data suggests this is not a concern and booster shots are not needed.

Most important right now is ensuring that anyone who is unvaccinated gets vaccinated as soon as possible to slow transmission in the unvaccinated population. This will also have the effect of reducing the amount of virus circulating among all people, further reducing the chances anyone is exposed to the virus.

Last updated 8:40 PM, August 31, 2021

I'm an international student that will be coming to UW-Madison. Should I get vaccinated here or wait until I'm on campus?

The recommendation is to get whatever COVID-19 vaccine is available to you wherever you are. UHS will recognize vaccines maintained on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergency use listing. If that vaccine is not on the WHO list by the time you arrive in the U.S., you will be able to get an FDA-approved vaccine. Similarly, if there are recommendations for boosters or additional prevention measures with your initial vaccine, we will try to facilitate with FDA-approved vaccines.

Last updated 8:41 AM, August 20, 2021

How do I interact with co-workers or students safely if I don’t know who is vaccinated?

The most important thing you can do to ensure safe interactions is to become vaccinated yourself. As of Sept. 1, 92 percent of employees and 88 percent of students are vaccinated. Vaccination provides robust protection against COVID-19.

Because people who are not fully vaccinated do not have this protection, employees and students who are not fully vaccinated are required to test weekly effective August 30 and everyone on campus is required to wear masks indoors.

Last updated 8:04 AM, September 2, 2021

How can I replace my lost vaccination card?

If you’ve lost your vaccination card, try any of the following:

  • Call the provider where you were vaccinated to see if they can give you a new card.
  • If you received your vaccination in Wisconsin, access your vaccination record using the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR).
    • If you have a social security number, Medicaid ID, or Health Care Member ID, you can access your record through the Public Immunization Record Access
    • If you do not have one of these numbers, you can access your record one of two ways:
      • Option 1: Fill out the Wisconsin Immunization Registry Record Release Authorization, F-02487 and have your records sent to you.
        • If you received your vaccine through UHS, the Health Care Member ID for signing into WIR will be your campus ID number (found on your Wiscard)
      • Option 2: Ask the organization that vaccinated you to assign you a chart number in WIR. The chart number field is linked to the Health Care Member ID.
      • If you received your vaccination in another state, go to that state department of health’s website to search their vaccine registry.

Please note, DHS cannot issue COVID-19 vaccination cards.

Last updated 9:28 AM, June 8, 2021

I received my vaccine from UHS. Can I now use UHS as my on-campus healthcare provider even though I am an employee and not a student?

Though University Health Services has been able to offer testing and vaccination to all active students and employees at UW–Madison as part of the campus pandemic response, other than limited Occupational Medicine services, UHS can only offer routine health care to students.

Posted on 1:57 PM, June 8, 2021

Where can I get vaccinated?

Last updated 5:15 PM, July 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?


Last updated 8:37 AM, August 6, 2021

Can a supervisor or manager ask an employee whether they have been vaccinated?

No. A person’s vaccination status is private, just like any other medical issue or condition, and employees are not required to share this information with supervisors or managers. There are limited exceptions to this in certain types of jobs (such as health care roles) where sharing vaccine status information is required, but in these limited cases employees are formally notified of this requirement. In general, especially as more people become eligible for vaccination due to health conditions, it is important to avoid asking these types of questions of employees because it could cause an employee to feel compelled to share medical or disability information and this should be avoided.

Last updated 8:57 AM, August 6, 2021

Can a supervisor or manager make work unit plans, changes, or updates based on the vaccine status of the employees in their work unit?

Our campus public health policies, procedures and protocols determine decisions around face covering requirements and physical distancing in the workplace. Supervisors and managers must follow campus public health policies, procedures and protocols and not create their own separate rules for their individual work units. Consult the campus Covid Response website for more information about campus public health protocols.

Last updated 2:23 PM, May 26, 2021

I am worried about variants. Am I protected by vaccination?

Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19, including variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Researchers continue to study vaccines in the context of variants of concern. Variants are less likely to emerge as more people get vaccinated across the world, so experts encourage vaccination to help prevent variants from arising.
Posted on 12:00 PM, June 25, 2021