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Are Milwaukeeans Ready For The COVID-19 Vaccine?

Lauren Sigfusson
The Oriental Theatre's sign reads Masks Save Lives, Stay Safe MKE.

Around 65,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine will soon be headed to Wisconsin, according to local health officials.

First responders and people who live or work in long-term care facilities will be first up to be vaccinated. As more doses become available, it’s expected that the vaccination will be offered to more people.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says that while he’s ready to sign up and get the vaccine, he understands that’s not the case for everyone. “There’s going to be one camp of people that we’re going to have to spend a lot of time convincing that it’s a good move to get the vaccination," he says.

Dr. Ben Weston, director of medical services for the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management, says some people fear the vaccination could change the makeup of their DNA. But he says that’s not the case.

“And importantly, the MRNA vaccines do not affect the DNA of your body. In fact, they don’t even enter the part of your cells that contain the DNA. As soon as they do their job, they make that little spiked protein, they’re broken down by our bodies and they’re gone,” Weston explains.

Weston says the vaccines, while put on the fast track, are just as safe as any others that we take. "These vaccines have been tested in tens of thousands of people and found to be very effective and very safe. The most common side effects were things like a sore arm, fatigue and a mild headache. Any more serious side effects were very rare,” he says.

Weston says he hopes that when people consider the risks versus the benefits of the vaccine, he hopes people choose the vaccine.

LaToya was a reporter with WUWM from 2006 to 2021.
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