Graham Kilmer

Milwaukee Area Mass Vaccination Clinics End This Week

The federally-run Wisconsin Center clinic and the county-run Kosciuszko Community Center will administer their last shots this week.

By - May 25th, 2021 05:59 pm
COVID-19 Vaccination Hub at the Wisconsin Center. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

COVID-19 Vaccination Hub at the Wisconsin Center. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee’s two COVID-19 mass vaccination facilities in Milwaukee will be closed by the end of this week.

The clinics at the Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., and the Kosciuszko Community Center, 2201 S. 7th St., are both being shut down this week. The Wisconsin Center’s last day is Friday, the south side community center will give its last shot on Thursday.

Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said the Wisconsin Center has administered nearly 140,000 doses of vaccine since it opened on January 12th. 

Anyone wishing to receive their first or second dose at the downtown convention center can still do so before the end of the week, Johnson said. The health department will schedule a second dose at one of the health departments two community walk-in clinics.

Since vaccinations began in December, 42% of Milwaukee County residents have received at least one dose of he COVID-19 vaccine; statewide 47% of residents have received at least one dose.

The pace of vaccination, though, has slowed down significantly in Milwaukee and across the state since mid-April.

During the first three months, vaccination rates were steadily increasing as the state’s allocation of vaccine from the federal government grew. On April 5th, vaccination was opened to the general public for adults aged 18 years and older. Since then even children 12 years and older have become eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Within two weeks of the general population becoming eligible for the vaccine, Milwaukee and the state started to see the rate of vaccination dip. Over the past four weeks, the state has only seen an additional 5% of the total population get vaccinated; Milwaukee County has seen an additional 4% of residents 

With mass vaccination centers closing and demand for vaccine waning, local governments are putting resources into mobile vaccination units, pop-up clinics and at-home vaccination.

“That means that our victories are not measured by a thousand vaccinations per hour, per day,” said Mayor Tom Barrett, “they’re measured by dozens.”

The Mayor said, “Now we’re really in full throttle in getting it into the community.”

The City of Milwaukee will continue to operate walk-in clinics at the Northwest Health Center, 6431 N. 76th St. and the South Side health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St.

On top of that, the health department is running weekly pop-up clinics at three Milwaukee Public Libraries. On Mondays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from noon to 4 p.m. the clinics are at Zablocki Library, 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave., and Washington Park Library, 2121 N. Sherman Blvd. On Tuesdays from noon to 4 p.m. there is a clinic at Mitchell Street Library, 906 W. Historic Mitchell St.

This week, the department is hosting eight different mobile clinics at sites around the city. Clinics are also being held at various times at five different Milwaukee Public Schools. A full list can be found here.

As the county closes the clinic at Kosciuszko it will begin to “Transition efforts from large scale sites to more concentrated outreach to the community,” said Dr. Ben Weston, director of medical services for the county.

Already, the county has launched an at-home vaccination program for residents that struggle to leave their home without assistance, or those that can’t leave because it could worsen an existing medical condition.

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said 30 county residents have signed up for the program since it launched less than a week ago.

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