The community vaccine clinic at Blackhawk Technical College that is set to open Tuesday will coordinate with other agencies to ensure those who have registered for the vaccine get it as promptly as possible.

Those who have registered online through the Rock County registration form will be connected to a provider, which might include the clinic. The provider will reach out to make an appointment, said Kelsey Cordova, a community health educator at the Rock County Public Health Department.

Cordova stressed that while the clinic will be open to all eligible Wisconsin residents, it will prioritize those who are uninsured or not connected with a health care system.

“It’s important that this clinic reaches those who have fewer options,” Cordova said Thursday. “Those with established ties to a health system, doctor’s office or pharmacy are more likely to have access, but those who are not connected don’t have those options.”

Uninsured people could face huge medical bills if they contract the virus and have to be hospitalized.

The vaccination clinic will not interfere with ongoing COVID-19 testing at the college, county health officials said.

The clinic is being operated through a partnership between the county health department, BTC, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and AMI Expeditionary Healthcare.

The BTC clinic will be given 1,000 doses per week to start. Health department officials said that allocation will not affect the vaccine supplies sent to other Rock County providers such as Mercyhealth and Beloit Health System.

Health department officials said the BTC site was chosen by the state after previous successful mobile vaccination events.

”We had a great partnership, and our ability to show that played into that” decision, said county Environmental Health Director Rick Wietersen. “We were positioned well to make this happen quickly.”

Providers are currently discussing how the vaccine process and workflow will work when more people become eligible for vaccines March 1.

The state anticipates opening up vaccination to these groups March 1:

  • Educators and child care workers.
  • People enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs.
  • 911 operators.
  • Public transit workers.
  • Food supply chain workers including farmers, food production workers, grocery store employees and community food bank personnel.
  • People living in congregate settings.
  • Non-frontline health care workers.

County officials are waiting to hear more from the state about how to proceed with vaccinating that group.

Adams Publishing Group reporter Ashley McCallum contributed to this story.


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