Milwaukee gets $4 million grant to help fight COVID in minority communities

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The number of COVID cases in the Milwaukee area remains low but health experts say it's still vital for people to get vaccinated.

Tuesday Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced a federal grant will provide $4 million to the city's Office of African American Affairs to help combat COVID in minority communities.

"Over the next two years The Office of African American Affairs will work with community organizations to develop a health literacy plan," Mayor Barrett said.

The Mayor says this is on top of current efforts to get shots in arms.

"It's not as though we're stopping work," Mayor Barrett said. "To the contrary, we're putting our foot on the accelerator and doing several things at once. But to me the biggest priority right now is to continue to get shots in arms."

Right now in Milwaukee, 48.6 percent of people 16 and older have both shots and 53.1 percent have at least one shot.

Dr. Ben Weston says part of the issue is misinformation and people need to know serous side effects fromthe shot are extremely rare.

"The vaccine has been given to over 180 million Americans and when any medication or vaccine is given to that many people, we get a good idea of what effects it truly causes and what we've found is the vaccine is not associated to any significant degree with any those discussed side effects," Dr. Weston said.

During the playoffs the city and the Bucks partnered to provide vaccines at the Deer District and people who got one, had a chance to win game tickets. Mayor Barrett says there is a possibility that will happen again with tickets to the finals.

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