COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19. For those that still get it anyways, the risk for severe disease is substantially lower. Getting vaccinated is the single best thing you can do to protect yourself, your family and friends, and our community from further spread of COVID-19. If you are eligible to be vaccinated (as of 8/6/2021 - this is anyone age 12 and over) and don't have a medical reason that would prevent you from getting vaccinated, we strongly recommend that you get vaccinated.
Current COVID-19 Vaccine Providers:
The following places have COVID-19 vaccine available:
La Crosse County Health Department
Gundersen Health System
Mayo Clinic Health System
Which brand of vaccine is best?
All approved COVID-19 vaccine options are highly effective in preventing death, hospitalizations, and severe COVID-19 illness. As soon as you are eligible to receive the vaccine and the vaccine is available, take any opportunity to get it.
How many vaccines have been given in La Crosse County?
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services now tracks this data here: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-data.htm. You can see how many vaccines have been given in Wisconsin, the Western Region, and La Crosse County.
Why do we need a vaccine?
Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your community. A COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from getting sick and potentially prevent you from spreading the virus to others. It is important to note that a vaccine will not replace the need to continue other actions that stop the spread of COVID-19. This is especially true while we are still in the process of administering the vaccine, and this may take many months.
Is the vaccine safe and effective?
Yes. The FDA, CDC, and independent advisors all review vaccine safety and effectiveness data before any vaccine is approved or allowed for distribution. COVID-19 vaccines have gone through all of the usual steps and phases that all vaccines go through to get full approval. The FDA and CDC will continue to closely monitor the vaccine as it is rolled out. You can visit the CDC's website for more information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety.html.
After I get the COVID-19 vaccine, do I still need to wear a mask and social distance?
Please see the CDC's new webpage "When You've Been Fully Vaccinated" for more details and guidance.
After I get the COVID-19 vaccine, do I still need to quarantine after an exposure?
No, you will not have to quarantine after exposure. You will be asked to wear a mask while in public and monitor yourself for symptoms and seek out testing if symptoms develop. Consistent with CDC guidance updated because of concerns with the delta variant, we also recommend that fully vaccinated close contacts get tested 3 - 5 days after exposure.
*Note: If you are a vaccinated individual living or working in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has had COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don't have symptoms. This is due to the added risk present in a congregate setting.
I am a healthcare worker or retired healthcare worker, how can I volunteer to help with COVID vaccination or other needs?
We are accepting volunteers through the WEAVR database: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/preparedness/weavr/index.htm. When we are ready to take volunteers, we will be contacting you from this database.
Is transportation available to vaccine appointments?
Same-day transportation is available to eligible BadgerCare Plus and Wisconsin Medicaid Members. To schedule a ride, members may call MTM, Inc. at 866-907-1493 (TTY 711). When scheduling their ride, members will be asked to provide their ForwardHealth ID (from their ForwardHealth card) and the address of the vaccination site. For more information regarding scheduling rides, visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/nemt/index.htm
The La Crosse County Health Department wishes to acknowledge that many of our community members have undergone years of disinvestment, biased treatment, and lack of access. We empathize with those who have historically or personally experienced discriminatory treatment in our community. These experiences have reinforced cycles of trauma and created a lack of trust with the government and with healthcare. The decision to receive a COVID-19 vaccination is a personal one. Our health department aims to educate the public about the safety and benefits of vaccination while also acknowledging these truths. We aim to build trust and the most equitable health outcomes.
After you've received a vaccine: