SSM Health Wisconsin reached a milestone on Thursday, March 4, administering 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
Bonny Kellogg, 69, of Mount Horeb, said getting her second dose of Covid-19 vaccine means that she is one step closer to getting back to a weekend tradition that she and her husband love – Friday night fish fry. She and her husband were among many couples who came in together today to receive their second vaccinations.
A retired nurse, Kellogg said she appreciates getting her vaccination and the team who administered it.
“It makes me a little happier now to be able to get out and do things, knowing we’re getting closer to the herd immunity,” Kellogg said. “I just can’t thank them enough for everything they’re doing, willing to take care of everybody and anybody and putting their own lives on the line. We can’t thank enough the healthcare people.”
Since December, when SSM Health received its first shipments of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, the organization has steadily increased its capacity to vaccinate eligible people across the communities it serves in south-central Wisconsin, adding vaccination sites as soon as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services approved them.
“At the start of the pandemic, SSM Health mobilized our workforce, developing a pool of more than 570 vaccinators and a team of more than 200, including pharmacists, cleaners, couriers, frontline schedulers and support personnel, many of whom willingly work above and beyond normal hours to ensure that we can provide vaccinations across our region,” said Mohammed (Mo) Kharbat, SSM Health Wisconsin region vice president for pharmacy services and health research.
SSM Health is operating 18 vaccine sites located across the area: in Baraboo, Fond du Lac, Janesville, Madison, Monroe, Ripon, Sun Prairie and Waupun. As vaccine supplies become more readily available, SSM Health expects to be able to offer at least 20,000 vaccinations each week.
“We have the operational capacity to ramp up to get more shots in the arms of eager people as supplies and new vaccines become available,” Kharbat said in a release. “We are driven by our mission to provide exceptional healthcare and we take our public health responsibilities seriously. We have an excellent team that has worked very hard to develop vaccination plans that can flex as supplies and eligible populations increase.”
SSM Health continues to collaborate with county public health agencies and other healthcare partners on initiatives such as the mass vaccination clinic for Dane County educators preparing to open next week at the Alliant Energy Center.