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Health & Science

Milwaukee Expands Zip Code Vaccine Program, Expects $400 Million From New Federal Stimulus Bill

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Chuck Quirmbach
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The Kosciuszko Park Community Center on Milwaukee's near south side.

Milwaukee County is expanding its targeted zip code effort for coronavirus vaccinations.

The county is adding residents of the 53205 zip code on Milwaukee's near north side to the list of disadvantaged areas where people can make appointments to get a vaccine shot at the Kosciuszko Park Community Center on the south side. 

The county is also opening the program to all people in that zip code who are eligible under state rules, not just seniors. County officials say all people eligible in two previously targeted zips, 53204 and 53206, can also now get the vaccine at Kosciuszko — expanding beyond just seniors.

Dr. Ben Weston of the county Office of Emergency Management said it's important to remind the public who is allowed at this point.

"On the education front, it's widely discussed that those in K-12 education are certainly eligible. But, if you work at the Boys and Girls Club, if you work at the YMCA or a child care center, you are eligible for vaccine. For food supply chain workers, whether you work in a food processing plant, you work in a grocery store, a convenience store or even a gas station that sells food, you are eligible for vaccine. Utility workers, if you're an electrician, or a plumber or if you work with other utilities that require you to work in people's homes, you are eligible for vaccine,” he explained.

Weston went on to list group home and shelter workers and residents, as just some of the additional people who can get immunized.

County and city of Milwaukee leaders say their units of government are also getting a massive financial shot in the arm from the COVID-19 relief bill that President Joe Biden is expected to sign soon. The city's allocation would be about $400 million. 

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

Mayor Tom Barrett said there are various ways to spend the money.

"We'll look at the loss of revenue that we've occurred over the last year. We'll also look at the structural challenges that have led to the health care disparities that have been existing in this community, in this state and this nation for a long time. We'll be working with members of our Common Council and other stakeholders in our community to make sure we're using it wisely and responsibly,” said Barrett.

County Executive David Crowley said Milwaukee County will get $183 million from the legislation.  "This funding is for emergency COVID-19 relief. But it will also allow us to respond to the public health emergency, invest in vaccine distribution and address the negative impacts of this pandemic,” he said.

Crowley said the bill also includes money for housing assistance, transit grants and airport relief.

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