Milwaukee Planning Its Own COVID-19 Vaccine Incentive
New program will replace expiring state effort. Employer mandates expected to boost interest.
The Milwaukee Health Department intends to offer its own COVID-19 vaccination incentive program to Milwaukee residents.
Commissioner Kirsten Johnson announced the planned program during a meeting Friday of the Common Council’s Public Safety & Health Committee. It’s at least the second time Johnson mentioned a potential vaccine incentive program in recent months.
Johnson said the program would be intended to replace a state program scheduled to expire on Sept. 19.
According to Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) data, 46.7% of all Milwaukee residents have received at least one vaccination dose. The rate is the lowest in Milwaukee County and below the state total of 55.5%. Individual ZIP codes vary from 34.3% (53206) to 72.6% (53203).
Governor Tony Evers and DHS introduced the state program on Aug. 20, offering a $100 Visa gift card to anyone receiving their first shot. Originally scheduled to expire on Sept. 6, it was extended through Sept. 19 and DHS reported that 65,000 people took up the offer by Sept. 1
Johnson said the city has seen an uptick in vaccination interest, particularly in younger people as the school year approached.
There are at least three large employment groups that will need to be vaccinated in the coming weeks if they are not already.
Milwaukee County has a similar requirement that requires to be vaccinated by Oct. 1. It is offering a $50 incentive, including those already vaccinated, and eligibility for more time off in 2022.
The school district will also $100 to any student who elects to get vaccinated, including those that already are.
Each of the three requirements includes limited exemptions for those ineligible to be vaccinated.
Cases in Children
Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic asked if Johnson was surprised that MPS announced its first temporary school closure due to a COVId-19 outbreak.
“Not at all,” said Johnson. The city has seen a steady, elevated level of 200 cases in seven days per 100,000 residents — classified as “extreme transmission” — since the week of Aug. 5. Since that time the city’s adult vaccination rate has climbed by 3% according to MHD data.
Her presentation concluded with a slide that, at least visually, showed a strong correlation between the areas of the city with the lowest vaccination rates have the highest level of COVID-19 cases in children.
“The best way we can protect our kids who are ineligible for vaccines is to surround them who are vaccinated,” said Johnson.
- Pandemic Shows Value of Local Pharmacies - Elizabeth Dohms-Harter - Sep 22nd, 2021
- State Sen. Jacque Released From Hospital - Megan Hart - Sep 21st, 2021
- City Offers $100 Vaccination Incentive - Jeramey Jannene - Sep 21st, 2021
- UW System returns to pre-pandemic levels of in-person instruction for Fall 2021 - University of Wisconsin System - Sep 21st, 2021
- Kleefisch Tests Positive for COVID-19 - Corri Hess - Sep 20th, 2021
- UW System Vaccination Rates Vary Widely - Rich Kremer - Sep 18th, 2021
- MKE County: COVID-19 Cases Still High in Milwaukee County - Graham Kilmer - Sep 17th, 2021
- Milwaukee Health Department excusing inaction with insufficient data, right-wing talking points - Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association - Sep 16th, 2021
- Gov. Evers Delivers Radio Address on New Investments to Support Local COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Recovery - Gov. Tony Evers - Sep 16th, 2021
- UWM reaches 70% vaccination rate goal, pushes for more - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Sep 16th, 2021
Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here