Bucks, Health Department offer chance to get vaccine shot and picture with Larry O'Brien trophy

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - A needle getting poked into their arm isn't the typical birthday wish you'd expect a third-grader to make, but that's exactly what 8-year-old Sam Wenig said was going through his mind when he blew out the candles earlier this summer.

"I'm probably the most happy because I wished for it for my birthday," said Sam, waiting for his turn to get vaccinated with his dad Nathan standing right by his side. "I hope every birthday wish comes true for everyone."

Sam was just one of many kids who joined their parents at the Fiserv Forum atrium on Saturday, Nov. 13, for the opportunity to get a COVID-19 vaccine, a flu shot and a picture with the Larry O'Brien trophy.

Saturday's event came together as a partnership between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Milwaukee Health Department.

"We weren't quite sure how this was going to play out. We've been planning it for quite some time," explained Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson. "There's certainly a lot of excitement around the 5 to 11 (age) but we also have adults who are coming in for their booster and their flu shot or their second dose which is amazing."

The relationship between the Health Department and the Bucks is one that is continuing to grow, Johnson noting the importance.

"Those relationships are critical," Johnson said. "We've been working closely with the Bucks since the beginning of the pandemic. They've been tremendous partners since the beginning."

That partnership will continue on December 4 when the Bucks will again open Fiserv Forum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for people looking to complete their vaccine series, get the first dose, a booster or a flu shot.

Nathan and Sam Wenig say they will be back in attendance so that Sam can complete his vaccine series. 

"Really, I just hope that everyone realizes and thinks that this is a good thing," Nathan said. "I'm happy that he was able to get it. It's been a long time coming. That bit of anxiety of him not having any shots in him while we're all vaccinated."

A relief that both father and son now share.

"At the end, the nerves went away," Sam said, adding he's happy he can now say he's received his first dose. "Knowing that If I get COVID, it would be a lower chance of dying."

Meanwhile, Johnson remains hopeful that others will follow the Wenig's actions and sign up for the vaccine themselves.

"We still need more people to get vaccinated," Johnson said. "We're entering into the winter, people are coming indoors because it is cold so it's even more critically important at this point in time if you're not vaccinated, to get vaccinated now."

Individuals that attended today's vaccine clinic and return on December 4 to complete their vaccine series will be entered to win one of two available family four packs of tickets for that evenings 7 p.m. game against the Miami Heat.

A random drawing will be held following the completion of the vaccine clinic at 2 p.m.

Winners will be notified and set their tickets via email.

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