On Dec. 14, 2020, COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the United States began. According to the La Crosse County Health Department, “the primary shared goal of organizations who are vaccinating is to: Vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible when they become eligible in an equitable manner, paying careful attention to vulnerable populations, with the only rate-limiting factor being vaccine supply.”
Several University of Wisconsin-La Crosse students have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinations are free to all currently eligible recipients.
UWL economics major Julia Wille works for the Milwaukee Health Department when she is in her hometown. She worked at a COVID-19 testing site and later a vaccination clinic. She received her first Pfizer vaccine at the beginning of January. Wille said receiving the vaccine was a simple process. “Both of the vaccines were very simple for me. It was kind of like going to get your flu shot,” she said.
Wille received her vaccine at Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee. “I was probably there for twenty minutes tops. It was super simple. You had to make an appointment. The nurses were so nice and would answer any questions you had,” she said.
Wille worked at the vaccination clinic for three weeks and administered 600 vaccines per day. “I worked there [vaccination clinic] for three weeks and there was one non-severe reaction,” she said. “The vaccines themselves are totally safe and totally harmless. I would say 100 percent you should get the vaccine if you have the opportunity to.”
Sophomore biology major Jeanna Kedrowski works at a nursing home in Wausau, WI. Kedrowski received the vaccine because she worked on a day that vaccinations were administered at the nursing home. Extra doses were given to staff members that were not yet vaccinated. Kedrowski received the Moderna vaccine.
“I always knew I was going to get the vaccine when it came out. They have obviously done a lot of testing and research and I trust the science,” said Kedrowski.
Kedrowski said those who do not plan on getting vaccinated should consider other people’s experiences.“Even if you feel like it doesn’t affect you, there are so many people who have been very poorly affected,” said Kedrowski.
Kedrowski has received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and she will continue to take precautions, such as wearing a mask. “I think [taking precautions] is the polite thing to do. Even though I know that I am vaccinated and probably won’t get COVID-19, it still shows that I am aware of other people and other people’s concerns,” she said.
UWL sophomore and middle childhood-early adolescence major Kaylee Olson is a Minnesota resident, who works at a childcare center during school breaks. She was able to get her first Moderna vaccine dose before the spring 2021 semester started.
Olson said that individuals should do research prior to getting the vaccine. “Do your research. Use reliable sources. Get your own information,” she said.
Olson received the vaccine at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn. “It was kind of weird to see so many people there getting their vaccine. That’s not how you usually get a flu shot or anything,” she said. “I was excited to get it. Obviously, we are moving forward into the future. It is a step toward some normalcy.”
Individuals interested in learning more about vaccine rollout in La Crosse county and filling out a screening and interest form can go to the La Crosse County Health Department COVID-19 webpage for more information.