Milwaukee officials focus vaccine strategy on smaller, mobile sites

NOW: Milwaukee officials focus vaccine strategy on smaller, mobile sites

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's health commissioner says over 35 percent of people in Milwaukee are fully vaccinated. 42 percent have received their first dose. 

"We are still planning some sort of mass vaccination sites that will be one or two days so shorter in duration. The drive-thru site that we’re planning is going to have some incentives tied to it and is likely going to be between the first two weekends in June," said Commissioner Kirsten Johnson. 

Much of the city's focus is on smaller sites, like churches and other community organizations. 

"We are talking about how to we reach people literally door-to-door. So there are efforts across the city with our non-profit partners, our healthcare partners, everyone is trying to collaborate to assure that we’re getting vaccine into communities that are harder to reach," said Johnson. 

Last weekend, the Milwaukee Health Department gave the vaccine out at a Milwaukee Bucks game. Johnson says 71 people received the vaccine. 

“It was less than we had hoped, but I think what was most effective, the intention of that original event was to vaccinate the staff, so the individuals who work at Fiserv Forum, sort of, again, bringing vaccine to where people are, and then it evolved into providing vaccine to people who were attending the game," said Johnson, "Shots in arms is shot is arms, so every shot in an arm is a win."

"At our peak, we had nearly 6,200 people getting their first dose each day, we’re now at bout 1,700 people. This highlights the need for our current shift in vaccination strategy from mass sites over to smaller local efforts and more focused messaging to those who feel they need a bit more information," said Dr. Ben Weston, Director of Medical Services at Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management. 

Dr. Weston says they're scaling back at the Milwaukee County run vaccine site at Kosciuszko Community Center. 

"As of this point, we’re still doing first doses, but they’re only Johnson and Johnson first doses to allow us more flexibility," said Weston.

He says next week, they'll pull back on hours to transition to other activities.

"Getting out in the community, smaller sites, visiting individuals, things of that sort."

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