Milwaukee mayor urges flu vaccinations, fearing season could be worse than last year's

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Posted at 9:55 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 23:27:05-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he fears this year's flu season could be worse than last year's.

"Ironically, last year our flu numbers were relatively low. We are concerned this year, we are very concerned this year with more activity with more public engagement, more people going out that we're going to see a significant increase in those numbers from last year," Barrett said in a press conference Friday afternoon.

The Milwaukee Health Department opened a third drive-thru testing site in the Menomonee Valley in addition to the Northwest Health Center and Southside Health Center locations. The Menomonee Valley site use to be a car emission testing drive-thru.

"Repurposing this old department of motor vehicles testing site to be not only a testing site but now also a vaccination site for COVID-19," said Barrett.

tom barrett
Mayor Tom Barrett

According to the Centers for Disease Control, you do not need to wait to receive your flu shot after getting any doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. They recommend anyone 6 months and older to get the shot.

The Menomonee Valley testing site began running last Monday, and the mayor says they've seen more than 1,500 people drive in to get COVID-19 tests. This week they've added vaccinations, boosters, and flu shots.

Currently, the site can administer Pfizer booster shots. However they are still waiting for the green light from the state to give Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters.

Dewy Caton, a math teacher at Milwaukee Area Technical College, drove through Friday afternoon to receive her Pfizer booster shot.

"Well for the health of my students' families and myself and generally the community, so you know I want to try and prevent transmission as well as keep myself safe, so I can keep teaching," said Caton.

Mayor Barrett also got his flu shot following the press conference.

The Menomonee Valley testing site is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12-6 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. No appointments are necessary, just drive-thru. It's located at 2401 W. St. Paul Ave.

Click here to learn more about Milwaukee's testing sites.

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Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

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