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UW-Eau Claire’s Zorn Arena transitions to federally funded vaccine clinic

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 8:18 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Zorn Arena at UW-Eau Claire has opened as Wisconsin’s second mass vaccination clinic sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The university has been offering COVID-19 tests and distributing vaccines for several months, laying the groundwork to expand to the federally supported clinic, preparing to distribute 3,500 to 7,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine each week.

“We have been in a great spot to start this because UW-Eau Claire has already been jumping in full force with COVID-19,” says Eau Claire City-County Health Department Director Lieske Giese. “We have lots of vaccinators but getting supply here has been a challenge. Having a location where we will get 3,500 doses each week is an amazing step forward.”

The clinic will be staffed by volunteers, health department staff, Wisconsin National Guard members, FEMA staff and students and faculty from UW-Eau Claire.

“Undergraduate nursing students in particular are really appreciating this opportunity for hands on experience,” says Debra Jansen, Associate Dean for UW-Eau Claire’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “We are so grateful they were able and willing to step up.”

While the site will dramatically aid in vaccination efforts, Giese says it will still take time to distribute vaccines to everyone who needs one. She says it is important to continue wearing masks and practicing social distance in the mean time.

People in Wisconsin ages 16 and older can sign up for a free vaccine by going to vaccinate.wi.gov or calling 844-684-1064. Proof of insurance or citizenship is not needed.

The clinic is open 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on April 8-10, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays on April 13-28 and 11 a.m. through 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays beginning April 29.

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