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UW Health urges patients to seek vaccinations wherever possible

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MADISON (WKOW) -- UW Health is reminding patients that there are options when it comes to receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

The system said in a news release Monday, the supply of the vaccine that UW Health has received from the Department of Health is just a small fraction of what the health system needs to reach all of its patients.

So it's telling patients to seek vaccinations wherever possible.

“While we are optimistic that the supply of vaccine will eventually increase, we have been told that non-health system vaccinators like pharmacies, local businesses, community organizations and pop-up vaccine clinics will play a large role in providing vaccinations,” said Dr. Matt Anderson, senior medical director of primary care at UW Health.

UW Health is committed to helping patients get the information they need on other local vaccinators as it becomes available.

System officials said it's important that patients cancel their appointments with UW Health once they get their vaccine elsewhere so others can be scheduled.

A UW spokesperson says the system has the capacity to do 7,500 doses a week, but didn't open all its clinic sites Monday because there wasn't enough supply.

Right now, the system schedules about 5,000 a week, but has only been getting about half that and has had to cancel appointments.

Dose allocations could be even lower this week, because winter weather across the US has delayed shipments in all 50 states.

"We have heard there are going to be some timing delays potentially this week related to that," Dr. Anderson told 27 News. "We have some internal planning that we're doing to try to prevent any disruption or need for additional actions that would impact our patients."

If you do shop around for other pharmacies or community sites to get your vaccine, experts say you need to stick with the same provider for the second dose.

UW Health says so far it's vaccinated about 22,500 people, including both employees and patients.

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