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FEMA to open mass vaccination clinic at Zorn Arena on April 8

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 1:01 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A federally-funded mass vaccination clinic will open on April 8 at Zorn Arena on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

An announcement from Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday says that the FEMA-supported COVID-19 vaccination site is committed to providing at least 3,500 weekly doses of COVID-19 vaccine for the site and will be capable of vaccinating 1,200 people per day.

“We’re grateful for FEMA’s support to help build our vaccination efforts on a larger scale to get more shots in arms quickly as we have vaccine available,” said Gov. Evers.

“This new site in Eau Claire will provide safe and effective vaccines to northwest Wisconsin ,and be a critical resource in the fight to end this pandemic,” said Kevin Sligh, acting Regional Administrator for FEMA Region 5.

Zorn Arena has been providing weekly antigen testing and vaccination clinics, but will transition vaccination operations to the federal government.

“We are going to be able to conduct the clinics in the same fashion, building on the same processes and procedures that we have had in place but on a larger scale,” says Grace Crickette, Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration at UW-Eau Claire. “We have measured our throughput, in other words how long it takes to go through the process and how many vaccinations we can give, so we feel very confident that we can very efficiently ramp up.”

UW-Eau Claire’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences faculty, staff, and students will continue to support the Eau Claire City-County Health Department with the clinic.

“It is a great experience for them and it is a great service to the campus and the community,” Crickette says. “It is going to allow us to really make a big difference in our community and serve our community.”

“We are proud to be able to help the community in the ongoing fight against COVID-19,” said UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt.

Eau Claire City-County Health Department Director Lieske Giese says the federally funded site will be a critical resource, especially as about 70% of Wisconsin’s population is set to qualify for the vaccine starting Monday.

“The site will be available for individuals in the Chippewa Valley and much wider than that to come to a location that is a very large throughput location that can get vaccination done quickly once we have that vaccine supply available,” Giese says.

According to the announcement, the clinic will be a joint effort between the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, UW-Eau Claire, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the State of Wisconsin, and FEMA Region 5.

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