COVID vaccine: Milwaukee pharmacy begins 3rd doses for some

Those with compromised immune systems are now eligible for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

At Hayat Pharmacy near 6th and Layton on Milwaukee's south side, people were lined up Tuesday, Aug. 17 for round three.

The owner said at least three people every hour had come for their third dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Only a small group is eligible now, but a vaccine booster shot eight months after the second dose is likely coming soon for everyone.

"There is that hardcore adamant group that just are not going to be vaccinated – it’s really frightening," said Gloria Bins.

Bins, a retired nurse, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and does not want to deal with the added stress of worrying about COVID-19.

"I’ve lost friends to (COVID), and I have friends still actively working in nursing," Bins said. "The vaccine is so important."

Gloria Bins receives a third COVID-19 vaccine dose at Hayat Pharmacy

With only a day's notice, Hayat Pharmacy mobilized its vaccination team once again.

"All they need to do is just show up. We’ve made it easy," said owner Hashim Zaibak. "If someone has uncontrolled HIV, if someone has had cancer or immunocompromised or immunosuppressor medication, they qualify."

Hayat Pharmacy offers third COVID-19 vaccine doses.

At the south side location alone, Hayat has already administered 50,000 first and second doses. Zaibak is urging those eligible to once again roll up their sleeves.

"We have a scientifically proven way to lower our risk of getting COVID.  Let’s take advantage of this opportunity," Zaimbak said.

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In Milwaukee, the delta variant continues to elevate daily case numbers. Although, leaders say there has been a slight plateau.

"We remain in the extreme transmission category for COVID-19 case per 100,000," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Milwaukee River, downtown Milwaukee

During a Tuesday briefing, Milwaukee County leaders stressed that a booster shot remains likely for everyone in the near future. Doctors continue to stress the importance of the vaccine. 

"Our hospitalizations do continue to rise. We now have 190 patients hospitalized in the county with COVID. That’s 10 times what we saw just a month ago," said Dr. Ben Weston with the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.

So far, the third dose for those with compromised immune systems only applied to those who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine is advised to speak with their health care provider.

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