Milwaukee residents who get the second dose of the COVID vaccine can get a $25 gift card
Milwaukee is making a financial offer to city residents age 12 and older who have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer or Moderna, but have not gotten their second dose.
The offer is to come in for that second shot, and get a $25 U.S. Bank gift card on-site.
Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said that for vaccines designed to be given out in two doses, getting that second shot is a big help to the body's disease-fighting immune system.
"That second dose really increases the immune response," Johnson said. "You get some immune response with the first dose — certainly better than nothing — but that second dose really increases to the full immune response."
Johnson said 61% of Milwaukee residents age 12 and older have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. About 56% are fully vaccinated. The Health Department said the city's new incentive is aimed at about 25,000 people who are eligible for a second shot, but have yet to move ahead with it.
The city has 1,000 gift cards available through funding provided by the state.
The offer comes amid a little bit of an easing of new COVID-19 cases this week. But Johnson she said she hopes those not fully vaccinated don't put off getting a shot.
"I hope people realize we're heading into winter. We're heading indoors. That the risk for exposure still exists. I mean, we're still at a high level of transmission," Johnson said.
Johnson said the gift cards for second doses are available at the Northwest Health Center, 7630 W. Mill Road, and the Southside Health Center, 1639 S 23rd Street.
Both are open Monday and Friday 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 new Menomonee Valley COVID-19 site is located at 2401 W. St. Paul Ave. The new site offers vaccinations Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Johnson emphasized that Milwaukee individuals under 18 will need to have a parent or guardian present to receive the vaccine and incentive.
The gift card is not available for recently approved booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Friday afternoon, Mayor Tom Barrett is expected to provide an update on the Milwaukee Health Department's COVID-19 and flu efforts. Barrett's office said he will receive his flu shot on-camera at the Menomonee Valley site.