COVID-19 vaccine information

University Health Services is vaccinating eligible members of the campus community under Wisconsin’s COVID-19 vaccination program. The university is committed to distributing vaccines to our community equitably, safely and effectively. All individuals are encouraged to seek the vaccine as they become eligible, though the vaccine is not currently mandatory. Please visit the MyUHS portal for appointments and eligibility information.

Vaccine Distribution

Eligibility

As of April 5, everyone age 16 and older who lives, works or studies in Wisconsin is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

Find more information and state FAQs about vaccine eligibility.

Availability

The amount of vaccine being provided to campus each week remains well below the demand. You may continue to check the MyUHS portal for availability. New appointments often become available mid-week and sometimes the MyUHS portal will also have information on off-campus appointments.

However, 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)

Note: On April 13, 2021, the federal government and the state of Wisconsin instructed vaccine providers to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Six people in the U.S. have reported adverse events following vaccination and federal agencies are examining whether these reactions are related to the vaccine. Almost 7 million people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S., so these events are rare, but the pause is being put into place out of an abundance of caution.

Anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the last three weeks and experiences the following symptoms should contact their health provider: severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath. These symptoms have been associated with these rare but severe events You should also use the federal v-safe program to report your symptoms.

The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) 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. Find more information about the Johnson & Johnson side effects as well as more FAQs.

Moderna

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.

Pfizer

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. 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

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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 DHSWIRHelp@dhs.wisconsin.gov.

Last updated 1:48 PM, April 16, 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. 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 3:34 PM, April 21, 2021

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

At this time only employees and students are eligible for on-campus vaccination.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services offers a registry to assist with scheduling vaccination appointments: https://vaccinate.wi.gov/en-US/.

Posted on 3:46 PM, April 7, 2021

Why has UHS paused administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

On April 13, the federal government and the state of Wisconsin instructed vaccine providers to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Learn more.

Posted on 1:28 PM, April 13, 2021

How can I get signed documentation for travel purposes to show I have been vaccinated?

Employees should request this information from their primary care provider, even if they were vaccinated at UHS. Students (including student employees) should request this information from their primary care provider or contact the UHS Travel Clinic: 608-265-5600

Last updated 1:55 PM, April 14, 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 9:13 AM, March 15, 2021

I believe I am eligible for the vaccine. How can I receive it on campus?

University Health Services is now offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments to all employees at UW–Madison. This includes in-person and remote employees and student employees.

To search for and schedule appointments at UHS, visit go.wisc.edu/myuhscovidvax. While COVID-19 vaccine supplies remain limited, so too do appointments at UHS. This week, UHS will receive just 800 first doses of Moderna.

However, all eligible members of the UW community who are interested in vaccination should also seek vaccination off campus and can register with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to find appointments in the community. Find the registry online. DHS will email registrants with appointment options.

Employees qualify for vaccination under the state’s definition of faculty and staff with direct student contact or under previous eligibility criteria. Because vaccinators across the state have variable levels of vaccine supply each week, eligible UW–Madison employees and students are encouraged to seek vaccine both on and off campus.

Find more information online about vaccinations off campus, including at area pharmacies.

Last updated 3:27 PM, March 30, 2021

Will I test positive for COVID because I've been vaccinated?

No, the test for COVID-19 looks for several signatures of the virus that are not present in the vaccine.

Last updated 1:12 PM, March 9, 2021

When am I eligible to be vaccinated in Wisconsin?

As of April 5, anyone age 16 and over who lives, works or studies in Wisconsin is eligible for vaccination, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Last updated 11:32 AM, April 5, 2021

I’m eligible for a vaccine. Why can’t I get an appointment right away?

Although vaccine supplies are improving, they remain limited – please be patient. Some providers may be able to start vaccinating your eligibility category earlier than others. Everyone will eventually have the opportunity to get vaccinated. You can register with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to be offered an appointment off campus when one is available.

Last updated 1:35 PM, March 24, 2021

Is there a charge to be vaccinated?

No, the vaccine is free and any offers to get the vaccine will come from known sources such as your local or tribal health department, health care provider, pharmacy, or a community-based clinic. You should not accept offers for vaccine from an unknown source as these are likely fraudulent.

Some vaccinators may ask you to provide prescription insurance information (such as a prescription card) so they can bill your insurance an administration fee. This will not cost you anything.

Posted on 1:36 PM, March 24, 2021

Where can I get vaccinated?

Assuming supply is available, you can get vaccinated by the following entities. To maximize your chances of finding vaccine quickly, please check both on and off campus. Find a provider near you. For vaccine-related questions and support with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services vaccine registry, call (844) 684-1064.

  • The Wisconsin Department of Health Services vaccine registry
    Public Health Madison & Dane County and others are 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.
  • University Health Services
    UW–Madison employees and students can make appointments through the MyUHS portal.
  • 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
    DHS is operating community clinics in several counties. Any eligible Wisconsin resident can be vaccinated at these sites, though keep in mind wherever you get your first dose, you will need to get your second dose at the same location.
Last updated 8:32 AM, April 9, 2021

If I am getting a two-dose vaccine, should I get both doses from the same provider?

Yes. If you sign up for a first dose from a vaccine provider, they will guarantee your second dose. You should schedule your second dose appointment either when you make your appointment for your first dose or while you are there for your first dose appointment. If you are unsure, check with the vaccine provider.

Last updated 9:15 AM, April 12, 2021

I am unable to get my second dose from the original provider, what should I do?

As much as possible, you should try to ensure you can receive your first and second doses from the same provider. You should follow local vaccination policies wherever you are. If you get your first dose and then travel, be sure to bring your vaccination record with you. This will help your vaccine clinic know which product you will need for the second dose and when. When you set up your second dose appointment, be sure to ask if the vaccination clinic will be able to give you the same product that you got for your first dose.

Posted on 1:40 PM, March 24, 2021

How do I prove I am eligible for the vaccine? What documentation is required?

Check with the vaccine provider about any documentation requirements. If you are unable to provide the required documentation, the provider may ask you to sign a form to attest you are telling the truth about your eligibility.

Last updated 9:10 AM, April 12, 2021

Does citizenship status affect where I can be vaccinated?

No, President Biden has stated that all people in the United States, regardless of their immigration status,  can access the vaccine. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also supports vaccine access for undocumented immigrants. Wisconsin vaccinators may not require proof of residency or state identification to get the vaccine. If you are part of a group that is currently eligible, you can get the vaccine.

Posted on 1:41 PM, March 24, 2021

How do I get my official vaccination record so I can provide proof of vaccination for travel?

You will receive a vaccination card at your appointment. Your vaccination card has information on when and where you received your vaccine as well as other helpful information related to the COVID-19 vaccine such as the type that you received. Keep your card in a safe place. You may also visit the Wisconsin Immunization Registry for an electronic version. When taking pictures or posting selfies about getting your COVID-19 vaccine, do not post photos of your vaccination card online. Doing so could reveal your personal health information.

Last updated 9:12 AM, April 12, 2021

I’m having trouble locating my vaccination record in WIR. Who can help?

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 DHSWIRHelp@dhs.wisconsin.gov.

Posted on 1:43 PM, March 24, 2021

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

Beginning April 5, everyone age 16 and older who lives, works or studies in Wisconsin is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

Due to limited supplies of vaccine, appointment options on campus remain limited. Students should continue to check the MyUHS portal for availability: go.wisc.edu/myuhs.

UW–Madison students and employees are encouraged to seek vaccine appointments on and off campus. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services offers a registry to assist with off-campus appointments: https://vaccinate.wi.gov/en-US/. Once you register, DHS will send an email as off-campus appointment options become available. You may also look for appointments at area pharmacies and other community sites offering vaccines: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-get.htm.

Last updated 1:53 PM, April 1, 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. However, supervisors and managers are permitted to ask for Safer Badger app color or designation (green/building access granted).

Last updated 9:09 AM, April 12, 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 2:02 PM, April 5, 2021

What if a supervisor or manager wants to make work unit plans, changes, updates based on the vaccine status of the employees in their work unit? For example, a supervisor or manager wants to tell employees they can work without face coverings and/or be in close physical proximity to one another if they have been vaccinated?

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 9:09 AM, April 12, 2021

Is vaccine required for students for the fall 2021 semester?

Our goal this fall is any student who arrives on campus who has not yet been vaccinated should have an opportunity to receive a vaccine from us, should they choose to.

Last updated 9:11 AM, March 15, 2021