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Milwaukee Mayor Hopeful That COVID-19 Vaccine Will Soon Be Approved

Ann-Elise Henzl
Earlier this year, a company on Milwaukee's south side reminds people to maintain social distancing.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he’s pleased that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in the United Kingdom– and is optimistic it will soon be rolled out in the U.S.

In a media update Thursday, Barrett estimated Wisconsin would initially receive about 50,000 doses of the vaccine. He said they’ll be distributed to those most in need.

"There’s a consensus that health care workers should be at the top of the list, that they should be the first ones to receive those vaccines, and I certainly agree with that. The next ones in that category would be individuals who live in nursing homes, long-term care facilities as well as those who live in assisted care facilities,” Barrett said.

He said about 450,000 people work in the health care industry in Wisconsin, so he estimates one out of nine would receive the vaccine in the first week.

Barrett said he anticipates another developer, Moderna, will soon get its vaccine approved as well, and then more doses will start flowing into the city.

He aid people with compromised immune systems, older citizens and essential workers would be next on the list to get the vaccine. But Barrett said it will likely take months before it’s widely distributed.

“Yes, we are optimistic that a vaccine is coming, but this is not going to be an overnight, flip the switch, the problem is solved,” he said.

Barrett said he understands that not everybody will want the vaccine and the city plans to work with those people, but he didn’t elaborate.

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.
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