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People 12 and older can get vaccinated against COVID-19 at UW–Madison

May 13, 2021 By Kelly April Tyrrell
A cup containing syringes

A container of syringes with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is pictured at a UHS vaccination clinic at the Nicholas Recreation Center. Photo: Jeff Miller

Beginning Monday, May 17, University Health Services will offer COVID-19 vaccination to anyone 12 and older. You do not need to be affiliated with the university to get vaccinated on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for young people age 12 and older. The authorization was also approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

UHS has provided COVID-19 vaccines since January 5 and has offered all three currently authorized vaccines, including the two-dose mRNA vaccines — Pfizer and Moderna — and the one-dose Janssen/Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Previously, the Pfizer vaccine was available to people 16 and older.

Campus vaccination is currently provided at the Nicholas Recreation Center Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, closed between noon and 1 p.m. for lunch. Vaccination is available by appointment or on a drop-in basis.

However, UHS advises that individuals between 12 and 17 make an appointment so they can select which vaccine they will receive, since only Pfizer is authorized at this time for this age group. Specific vaccine types cannot be guaranteed for those without an appointment.

Visit for more information about scheduling appointments, instructions for getting to and parking at the vaccination site, and more. Vaccination is free and you do not need to present identification.

“The more people we are able to vaccinate, the better protected we all are from the spread of COVID-19 and its disruptive and sometimes devastating impacts.”

UHS interim Medical Director Patrick Kelly

An adult must be present with anyone under age 18 at the vaccine site, except those who are  UW–Madison students or employees. Additionally, a parent or guardian must sign a consent form prior to vaccine administration. The consent form is available either at the site or in the online portal for appointment information.

“We are really excited to be able to offer vaccination to 12-to-15-year-olds in the state,” says medical doctor and UHS interim Medical Director Patrick Kelly. “The more people we are able to vaccinate, the better protected we all are from the spread of COVID-19 and its disruptive and sometimes devastating impacts.”

The new authorization will enable even more people vulnerable to COVID-19 to safely build immunity to the virus that causes it. In clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine was 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infection in the 1,001 participants between 12 and 15 who received both shots. Meanwhile, 16 of the 972 young participants who received a placebo were diagnosed with the disease.

In Wisconsin, more than 72,000 people between ages 10 and 19 have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, representing almost 12 percent of the cases in the state. Of these, 632 have been hospitalized and three have died. Nationally, about one in five cases of COVID-19 have occurred in children 17 and younger.

“We are glad to be able to help area families get back to summer activities such as sports, camps, and travel with more assurance they can help keep their children and their communities safe,” says Kelly. “And the more young people we can vaccinate this summer, the more likely it is we can resume the fall school year without worrying about continued spread of the disease.”

To date, more than 150 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including nearly 2.6 million people in Wisconsin. Nearly 30 percent of 16-and 17-year-olds in Wisconsin have received at least one dose of Pfizer since they became eligible on April 5, 2021.

UHS continues to offer vaccines to everyone eligible in Wisconsin, whether or not they are affiliated with the university. Recent UW–Madison graduates are also welcome to drop in for vaccination during open hours. UW–Madison students and employees vaccinated off campus are encouraged to upload their vaccine records here:

For more information about vaccination in Wisconsin, visit:

For information about vaccination from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including among the newly eligible population, visit:

University Health Services will host media availability on Monday, May 17 at 2 p.m. on the expansion of vaccination to individuals between 12 and 15. Contact Kelly Tyrrell for more information —, 302-983-6787