MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin National Guard Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen have helped local health departments administer nearly 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines since establishing the first mobile vaccination teams in late January.
Guard personnel on mobile vaccination teams have responded to requests for assistance in more than a dozen Wisconsin counties.
“The collaboration between the Wisconsin National Guard, Department of Health Services, and communities and organizations throughout the state has been incredible,” said Capt. Amanda Dickenson, the Wisconsin National Guard’s officer in charge for the vaccine and specimen collection action team.
“It is constantly evolving and allowing us all to grow in our efficiencies, outreach and availability to provide easy access to COVID vaccinations to all Wisconsin’s citizens as a team," Dickenson said. "It is because of these relationships that we have been able to reach a milestone of 100,000 vaccinations administered only months into the collective vaccination efforts.”
In addition, approximately 45 Guard personnel are supporting mass vaccination sites in Madison, Milwaukee and Kenosha. The community vaccination teams have helped administer more than 78,300 vaccines since early April.
The community vaccination teams have helped widen the availability of vaccinations in underserved communities and freed up resources that are now available to focus on serving other areas of need.
Wisconsin National Guard members have transported and administered vaccines, monitored for adverse reactions, helped direct traffic and provided administrative assistance.
“We are directly supporting the health and well-being of our local communities, the ones we live or grew up in, with personnel and resources through a global pandemic affecting the lives of everyone we know and love,” Dickenson said.
Simultaneously, Wisconsin National Guard specimen collection teams continue operating regional community testing sites.
The Wisconsin National Guard has supported the state’s COVID-19 response since March 12, 2020. Nearly 500 Soldiers and Airmen are helping the state respond to the pandemic.
Teams have collected over 1 million specimens, supporting the Wisconsin Department of Health Service’s efforts to ensure COVID-19 testing availability throughout the state.
The teams, tailored to meet the needs of a specific facility or community, are dispatched from a larger task force of several hundred Soldiers and Airmen when requested by local health departments. They have conducted testing at correctional and senior-living facilities, health clinics and institutional facilities and businesses.
Several dozen troops have also helped the Wisconsin Department of Health Services manage COVID-19 vaccine inventory at sites across the state since December.