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Prevea announces community COVID vaccine clinics at UWGB, Sheboygan

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 10:09 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 6:00 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Prevea Health is anticipating direction from the state on who will fall into the next vaccine group any day now. It’s partnering with UW-Green Bay and UWGB-Sheboygan to set up community COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

One of the clinics will be located at the Kress Events Center at the campus of UWGB. The second clinic will be located in the gym of the Sheboygan campus.

These clinics are expected to open in late January or early February.

“We want to be ready, and we know it’s not a matter of months, it’s a matter of days to maybe a few weeks before we start vaccinating outside of health care,” said Dr. Ashok Rai, president and CEO of Prevea Health.

So far, only phase 1A health care workers have been vaccinated in Wisconsin. The state decides the groupings. CLICK HERE for the state’s vaccine rollout plan.

“Phase 1B is a really long list,” Rai said. “We don’t know what that looks like yet, but as we’ve seen from the federal government and what we’ve seen from the state government meetings, it’s not a small amount of people.”

More details on who will be able to receive a vaccine at these clinics will be released when organizers receive instruction from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

When the vaccination sites open, appointments will be required.

Rai says the reason the vaccination clinics won’t be in hospitals or clinics is because more space will be needed.

“It’s not really designed to do this on a broad scale, and for vaccination to be successful -- in Wisconsin and the rest of the country -- you’ve got to scale this up very quickly, and that’s what we’re doing,” Rai said.

“We know we need to step up here. We’re fortunate to have a lot of large spaces and spaces the community can use to do this in a good way,” U.W.-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander said.

“The partnership between U.W.-Green Bay and Prevea Health is a perfect example of how our universities will be there to help solve Wisconsin’s most pressing problems. To provide help on COVID-19 vaccination is the Wisconsin Idea in action,” said Tommy Thompson, President, U.W. System.

“Securing these locations on the university campuses now ensures we will be ready to begin vaccinating members of the community as soon as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services gives us the green light to begin vaccinating those who fall under what DHS will define as the Phase 1B category, and all the phases that will follow,” said Dr. Rai wrote in a statement. “We are grateful to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for their partnership on this historic and life-saving effort that will help to protect our community members from COVID-19.”

Dr. Rai teased the announcement Thursday on Action 2 News This Morning.

“I think it’s a great idea. I think people need to take a step back. This is not the kind of vaccine you’re going to likely be able to give-- especially the Pfizer one which we have the most of, which we have the most of, and I think it’s important to note that--that it’s not the kind of vaccine that’s easy to give at the doctor’s office between every fifth patient,” said Dr. Rai. “It’s best done with an entire team, very large areas, great parking, handicapped parking, as we’re going to start to do people who are older or have medical issues. You need pharmacy on site. There’s a lot of different things. The U.W. campus is set up really well for that. Large areas, large parking. They’ve been a great partner in testing, why wouldn’t they be a great partner in vaccines?”

Earlier this week, Thompson told Action 2 News about the idea.

“We have refrigeration units we could keep the vaccine as cold as it needs to be. We’ve got the individual personnel from our nurses and our nursing deans and individuals in other medical professions. We could do a tremendous job of vaccinating people,” said Thompson.

“The principal roles of a university is to serve the common good,” Chancellor Alexander added, “and what we are doing here is to solve, you know, obviously a huge problem for our region, our community and to make our community a safer and better place.”

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