Milwaukee COVID vaccine incentive for residents

Just days after a statewide effort ended, Milwaukee announced it is launching a COVID-19 vaccine incentive program of its own.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson on Tuesday, Sept. 21 announced a new $100 incentive for city residents.

Beginning Thursday, Sept. 23, any city of Milwaukee resident over the age of 12 who receives their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Northwest Health Center or Southside Health Center will also receive one $100 U.S. Bank gift card on-site, while supplies last.

"Every vaccine brings us one step closer to the other side of this pandemic," said Johnson. "We are hopeful that this incentive program will encourage Milwaukee residents to prioritize getting their COVID-19 vaccine."

Statewide, more than 142,000 people received their first vaccine dose from Aug. 20 through Sept. 19 when an incentive was offered.

"We really hope it incentivizes 1,000 people to come get vaccinated that maybe weren’t going to get vaccinated previously," Johnson said of the city's program.

Milwaukee Southside Health Center

The 1,000 gift cards available were paid for with money from the state's COVID-19 Testing Pilot Program.

"Our vaccination are not moving at the pace, I would like to see them at," Barrett said.

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Everyone who is eligible to receive the free COVID-19 vaccine is eligible to receive the gift card – regardless of insurance, ID or citizenship. Individuals under the age of 18 will need to have a parent or guardian present to receive their vaccine and incentive.

The Milwaukee Health Department vaccination sites have the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine available for anyone 12 years of age and older or the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 available for anyone 18 years of age and older. 

Milwaukee Health Department (MHD)

Currently, more than 55% of eligible Milwaukeeans are fully vaccinated and 61% have gotten the first dose. However, state data shows parts of the city are below 30%. The city remains in the "extreme transmission" category as cases rise, averaging 332 per day along with four deaths.

Additional Information about the incentive program can be found at milwaukee.gov/COVIDvax. Any questions regarding this program can be directed to the COVID-19 Hotline at 414-286-6800.

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