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Mayo relocating COVID-19 vaccine site in anticipation of next rollout phases

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In anticipation of the next groupings in Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out, and the phases beyond, Mayo Clinic Health System is relocating its inoculation site to ensure an efficient and safe process.

New Mayo vaccine site

The new COVID-19 vaccine site at Mayo Clinic Health System is outfitted with self-guided patient check stations. Officials are hoping to vaccinate 500 people a day at the site.

Previously located in Mayo’s former Occupational Health building, the new vaccine site will open Monday in the former gymnasium and fitness center in the Professional Arts building at 11th and Ferry streets on the La Crosse Campus.

Currently, Mayo, as well as Gundersen Health System, is providing innoculations for Phase 1A individuals, and starting Monday will begin vaccinating fire and police workers.

Remaining 1A workers — those not affiliated with either hospital, including dentists, social workers, hospice workers and mortuary workers — will also soon be able to receive the vaccine.

New Mayo vaccine site

Registered Nurse Joannie Schmidt outfits vaccination stations with supplies Thursday as she and other staff work to set up a new COVID-19 vaccine site at Mayo Clinic Health System’s La Crosse campus. The first vaccines will be given Monday at the site.

“The time is right for us to move to a larger location as we move forward with vaccinating those in phase 1a,” says Bradley Weber, operations administrator for Mayo Clinic Health System’s Southwest Wisconsin Region. “We are doing this so we can offer as many vaccinations as possible while physical distancing. This also allows us flexibility for when state and federal authorities approve vaccinations future phases including our patients and community members listed in phases 1b and 1c, and phase 2.”

Benjamin Anderson, nurse administrator, says Mayo hopes to vaccinate 500 people a day at the new site, and according to a release, thus far 2,000 employees at Mayo’s southwest Wisconsin locations have been vaccinated.

Anderson believes the new vaccine site will provide “a much better experience overall” for those being inoculated, a process which will take around 15 minutes. At least 10 nurses and pharmacists will be on location daily to administer the vaccine.

Eligible individuals are asked to register for a vaccination time slot via Mayo’s Patient Online Services portal. Mayo patients without an existing account can create one at https://signup.mayoclinic.org/?ApplicationID=6fd03569-c4c9-439c-bbcb-931305671b6d, and non-Mayo patients may call 1-877-858-0398 to establish a required Mayo Clinic medical record number.

The vaccine is not yet available to the general public, and Mayo patients will be notified through the portal or by mail when they become eligible. At that time they may self-schedule their appointment.

“We encourage anyone who is eligible for the vaccine to get one. We really need to get to a much higher vaccination rate in the community to end this pandemic,” Anderson. “We’re really encouraging anyone, as soon as they’re able and its available to them, to get the vaccine.”

For more information on COVID-19, visit www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/covid19.

Emily Pyrek can be reached at emily.pyrek@lee.net.

"We encourage anyone who is eligible for the vaccine to get one. We really need to get to a much higher vaccination rate in the community to end this pandemic."

Benjamin Anderson, nursing administrator

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