A vaccine researcher holds a vial and syringe.

The COVID-19 shot isn’t going away; it’s just adapting

By Colton Molesky, NBC 15

The COVID-19 vaccine is now readily available at hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies across the state of Wisconsin as the federal declaration of emergency lifts Thursday. But it took years to get the vaccine rollout to this point, with plenty of bumps along the way.

Everything started for Madison, Dane County, and Wisconsin back on December 14, 2020. It’s when the first person, UW-Health Respiratory Therapist Tina Schubert, received the first shot.

“Everyone was so excited to see that cardboard box arrive and to get a look inside and see what we all been waiting for was like waiting for a box of treasure,” said UW Health’s RN Director of Ambulatory Operations Andrea Wipperfurth. “There were lots of tears; there was lots of cheering.”

Wipperfurth helped guide the vaccine rollout for the health system and the public. She says the day the vaccine first arrived was one of hope, seemingly signaling a nearing of the end to the pandemic. But the road ahead was long and filled with challenges as healthcare workers tried to get the shot out to the public. The rollout was underway. Read more …