Jeramey Jannene

City Offers $100 Vaccination Incentive

Health department will pay up to 1,000 people to get their first COVID-19 vaccination.

By - Sep 21st, 2021 04:55 pm
100 Dollar Bill. Photo by Dave Reid.

100 Dollar Bill. Photo by Dave Reid.

Starting Thursday, Milwaukee will pay people to get vaccinated for COVID-19. “Get a shot, get one hundred bucks,” said Mayor Tom Barrett describing what he said was a simple program during a press briefing Tuesday.

And for the most part, it is a straightforward offer. But there are some restrictions.

Individuals must receive the shot at the Northwest Health Center, 7630 W. Mill Rd., or the Southside Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St. They also must be Milwaukee residents.

The reward is being given as a $100 US Bank gift card and it is being offered while supplies last. The city has only 1,000 gift cards.

Individuals must be receiving their first shot of any of the vaccination offerings. Those receiving a second dose or a booster shot are not eligible. Individuals must be 12 or older.

“We hope this incentive will encourage even more Milwaukee residents to get their vaccine,” said Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson in announcing the program. Those with questions can call 414-286-6800 or visit “Vaccination is our way out of this.”

The Milwaukee Health Department centers offer free vaccinations Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The facilities are closed for vaccinations on Sunday. No appointment is necessary, but individuals can save time by registering in advance.

According to Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) data, 47.4% 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 56.3%. Individual ZIP codes vary from 35.3% (53206) to 73.1% (53203).

“Our vaccination numbers are not moving at the pace I would like to see,” said Barrett of the slow growth of the figures. Two weeks ago the citywide percentage was 46.7%.
Governor Tony Evers and the DHS introduced a state incentive 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 Monday that 142,000 people took up the offer.

Johnson previously said the city would launch its own incentive program after the state program expired.

Individuals who received the first dose while the state program was in effect are eligible to claim  that offer through Sept. 30 on the DHS website.

Case Surge

While public health officials hope to increase vaccination rates, there is a figure they don’t want to boost: case rates.

But despite the desire to see the disease’s spread slow, the latest data release from the health department shows a surge in the disease. A total of 353.1 out of every 100,000 Milwaukee residents have tested positive for the disease in the past week, up from 277 the week prior. That leaves the city in the “extreme transmission” category for eight consecutive weeks.

The disease spread is strongest in the areas of the city with the lowest vaccination rates, particularly the city’s Northwest Side. The greatest number of cases are being reported in the 25-to-34-year-old age group.

“We have also seen testing volumes increase dramatically in the past two weeks,” said Barrett. But this weekend will mark the end of the largest testing site. The American Family Field site is being decommissioned to accommodate the MLB playoffs. A replacement is expected to be announced soon.

All public COVID-19 testing is free. A number of private health care providers, including Walgreens, also offer testing. More information on COVID-19 testing sites is available on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website.

More about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here

Categories: Health, Weekly

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