Vaccine Rollout for Madison College

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TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

A COVID-19 vaccine being administered.

Lauren Taillon

Roughly 1,200 Madison College students and faculty have already started receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, based on a tier system that was compiled by the CDC, thanks to the college’s partnership with SSM Health. Next month, that number will grow exponentially.

Joshua Cotillier, Risk Manager for Madison College, is the head of the Madison College COVID-19 Task Force which has been placing students and faculty into varying tiers to organize vaccine distribution at the college. “We got tier 1A started back in late January, early February. Currently the vaccine team is working on tier 1B, for employees and some students. The definition of 1B is having face to face direct contact with students, and we are working on that with an expected implementation date of March 1,” said Cotillier.

Students and faculty who qualify to be in a tier will be notified by the task force and will be given the option to receive the vaccine if they so choose. Whether the student or staff member decides to receive the vaccine or not will have no bearing on their job or student status. Those who qualify will have to contact their primary care provider in order to receive both of the shots that make up the COVID-19 vaccine.

While the requirements for tier 1C have yet to be officially disclosed by the Public Health Madison & Dane County organization, it has been projected by them that it could consist of educators, childcare workers, people on long-term medicaid, and public facing essential workers such as food suppliers and public transit personnel. Of course, this all depends on vaccine supply which is currently limited. There isn’t a date set for the 1C tier to be vaccinated as of now.

“It’s very difficult to get the vaccine right now. Roughly 10% of the state is vaccinated as of today. That number will continue to grow, but we still have a long way to go. And with the vaccine being scarce, we want to advocate for (our students and faculty) so they have access to it rather than going through a lottery system or something like that. We want to advocate for them, that is the part I want to emphasize the most,” said Cotillier.

Since the information on COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are always changing, Cotillier recommends contacting your provider about eligibility and by checking the CDC website as they will continue to update their tier requirements as well as list any new recommendations there. Cotillier also said that he would be happy to address any questions that students and faculty of Madison College may have about testing, the vaccinations, or school protocols. He can be contacted at [email protected]