MILWAUKEE - Moderna announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 vaccine is on track to be approved for children 12 and up by early June. Pfizer’s vaccine is already authorized for adolescents. The news came as local leaders transition into a new phase of vaccine clinics.
The Milwaukee health commissioner said 265 community clinics are scheduled through the rest of the summer, including with the Milwaukee Brewers this week. Meanwhile, larger fixed sites like the one at the Wisconsin Center will close Friday, May 28.
"The Wisconsin Center opened on January 12, received federal funding and assistance on April 6 and we’ve administered nearly 140,000 doses at that location," said Kirsten Johnson, health commissioner.
The Milwaukee Health Department’s new focus is on small, more mobile sites throughout different parts of the city to make access as easy as possible for residents.
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"Now, we’re really in full throttle in getting it into the community," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. "That means that our victories are not measures by thousands of vaccinations per hour or day. They are measured by dozens."
With the rate of daily vaccinations continuing to slow, officials are increasingly turning to community partners and incentives.
"Tomorrow and Thursday, the Milwaukee Brewers will host vaccination clinics before their games with the San Diego Padres," said Johnson. "Everyone who’s vaccinated at the clinic stationed at Helfaer Field will receive two free tickets to that day’s game."
Also part of their message is the importance of getting children vaccinated. Moderna said Tuesday that clinical trials of more than 3,700 kids ages 12 to 17 showed its vaccine was 100% effective. Doctors are reminding parents that while kids are less likely to get sick from the virus compared to adults, much is still unknown about the long-term impact.
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"The long-term effects can have negative impacts and long-term damage to your heart, your lungs, your brain," said Dr. Ben Weston, Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management. "The vaccine, on the other hand, was designed to be safe. It was designed to train your immune system and then break down and leave your body."
People who receive their first shot of the vaccine at the Wisconsin Center will be scheduled to receive their second shot at a different clinic location.