JANESVILLE — Low vaccine supply remains a top concern in the COVID-19 vaccination effort as the first doses were given at a Rock County clinic Tuesday.
The clinic site has been established by Blackhawk Technical College’s central campus between Beloit and Janesville at 6005 S. County Highway G. The clinic was established in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Rock County Health Department and AMI Expeditionary Healthcare.
AMI staff were on-site for training leading up to the first day of vaccinations on Tuesday. Support is also being provided by the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management Association.
The Rock County site is the first of its kind in Wisconsin, with AMI set to establish about 10 other clinics around the state. No details regarding other clinics were available on Tuesday.
AMI Senior Operations Manager Dan Beck said the first day of vaccine distribution was going smoothly.
“So far it’s been really wonderful,” Beck said. “It’s going fantastically well. It’s been a smooth operation and we look forward to expanding that.”
Beck said the clinic will begin administering approximately 200 doses per day with the goal of increasing to approximately 1,000 per day as the vaccine supply increases.
“The limiting factor right now is the ability to get vaccine to the clinic sites,” Beck said.
Rock County currently has a waiting list with approximately 500 eligible individuals. Those on the list will be given priority for initial vaccination appointments, according to the health department.
After exhausting the current list, Rock County will perform targeted outreach to eligible individuals in collaboration with key partners and stakeholders in the county.
Following what officials are calling a “soft launch” at the clinic, all individuals who live, work or study in Wisconsin and meet current eligibility criteria can register to be vaccinated. The tentative date to open registration is Feb. 22.
Health Department Supervisor Kelsey Cordova said it was “encouraging” to see such high demand for the vaccine in Rock County.
“Public health interventions take buy-in from the community and it’s been great to see people encouraging friends and family to seek out the vaccine,” Cordova said.
Pre-registration at the clinic is required and will be available online or over the phone. To assist those in which English may be their second language, translators will be available at the clinic.
The clinic is open from 11 a.m.—7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.