Wisconsin Center to act as hub for essential workers to receive COVID-19 vaccine

NOW: Wisconsin Center to act as hub for essential workers to receive COVID-19 vaccine

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Workers in the city of Milwaukee will be trained Monday, Jan. 11, to give the COVID-19 vaccine. Shots will be given at the Wisconsin Center beginning Tuesday, Jan. 12. 

City officials say the Wisconsin Center will act as a vaccine hub for giving employees the Pfizer vaccine.

A total of 120 city employees were vaccinated last week. Nine-hundred more people in Phase 1A will be vaccinated this week. People to receive the vaccine include firefighters and city health workers. 

Shots are being given from stations set up inside the Wisconsin Center. 

"The real purpose here of using the Wisconsin Center is that we are going to see dramatic increases in the number of dosages that we receive," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. 

“This is ballroom one,” says Nick Tomaro, preparedness coordinator for the City of Milwaukee Health Department. “This is registration.”

Socially distanced chairs are placed in the ballroom along with tables where trained employees will sit to hand out necessary forms. Those forms will then be returned in station two.

“This is again the consent review area,” says Tomaro during a media tour of the site.

Once reviewed, people will then move on to station three to receive the vaccine in one of 18 administration rooms.

“In terms of vaccine storage, in the facility and overnight, this is a separate area we have secured,” says Tomaro.

Officials would not show us the freezers for security purposes, but they assured us they’re on site, under 24/7 surveillance, and attached to a limited number of access cards.

After receiving the vaccine, people will move on to the waiting area.

“It’s important to have a monitoring period after vaccine administration,” says Tomaro. “So generally, for most individuals it will be 15 minutes.”

Officials anticipate remaining on the site at least through May 2 and say it will be paid for through federal reimbursements, the CARES Act and grants.

The site is not open to the public.

Officials say there is potential for mobile site as they move into later phases.

"Right now, we are going to be operating six days a week and we absolutely will just have to adjust the best we can as we move into those larger numbers," said Marlaina Jackson, interim health commissioner for the Milwaukee Health Department. 

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