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Milwaukee Plans To Expand Vaccination Effort In Homeless Shelters

Milwaukee will use 2,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson brand COVID-19 vaccine to increase vaccinations in local homeless shelters.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has announced that during the week of March 15, the City will operate a COVID-19 vaccination program at more homeless shelters. Barrett says for supply, Milwaukee is receiving 2,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson brand vaccine.

The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says clinical trials show Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is less effective that some other brands at preventing COVID-19  in people who had no evidence of prior infection, two weeks after receiving the vaccine.

LISTEN: Wisconsin Health Official Says Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Is In 'Very Normal Range' For Effectiveness

But the J&J vaccine has had high success at preventing hospitalization and death in people who did get sick.

Also, it only requires one shot, instead of the two doses of other brands. So, Barrett said homeless shelters are a good place to use it.

"As we talked about the most efficient way to use this, one of the things that came to our attention was the challenges we have sometimes with the transient population that sometimes resides in our shelters, various shelters, sometimes moves on someplace else," said Barrett.

Barrett said it might be harder to schedule a second appointment for people who come and go a lot. The mayor says unused supplies may go toward the City's goal of making the vaccine available to all educators by March 15.

Nick Tomaro of the Milwaukee Health Department told WUWM Thursday night that a total of 110 people were vaccinated at four shelters over the last few days, including at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.

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