UW President: School System Could vaccinate all of Wisconsin by end of March

Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson told WISN 12 the schools could help administer the vaccine to all Wisconsin residents.

Thompson said if allowed, the mass vaccinations could be done by the end of March or early April.

“We could set it up on our campuses,” Thompson said. “We could take care of the vaccine and keep it at the necessary temperatures to keep it safe. We have nursing students, nursing deans, individuals qualified to administer vaccines. We could do it the same way as testing and vaccinate as many people as needed.”

The former Wisconsin governor and Health and Human Services Secretary said he has contacted state and federal agencies about his mass vaccination plan.

“We think we could really be helpful. That’s why we’ve volunteered the university system,” he said.

Thompson said he has not yet received approval to move forward.

He added that vaccine manufacturers would need to send the doses directly to UW system officials.

A Jan. 3 White House Coronavirus Task Force report obtained by ABC News recommends Wisconsin vaccinate as many residents as soon as possible.

“Do not delay the rapid immunization of those over 65 and vulnerable to severe disease; recommend creation of high throughput vaccination sites with use of EMT personnel to monitor for potential anaphylaxis and fully utilize nursing students. No vaccines should be in freezers but should instead be put in arms now; active and aggressive immunization in the face of this surge would save lives,” the report said.