Milwaukee mom outraged after learning where extra doses of COVID-19 vaccine are going

Posted at 5:03 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 23:38:19-05

MILWAUKEE — A local mother is raising concerns after learning that extra doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are going into the arms of people who aren't eligible to get their vaccination just yet.

Since the pandemic began, Kerri Engebrecht has been waiting for the day her 19-year-old son Nate, who doctors diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

"I have reached out to everyone I can think of to try to get him on some list to take the vaccine," said Engebrecht.

Currently, in Wisconsin, front line health care workers, residents in skilled nursing or long-term care facilities, police and fire personnel, and anyone 65 and older are eligible to be vaccinated.

But Kerri says too often she's hearing stories like that of Milwaukee Bucks Senior VP Alex Lasry. The 33-year-old said in a tweet Friday he got the vaccine this week after his wife received a call from the facility where her uncle works, had leftover doses.

"Well my first reaction was of course like the anger and the privilege, and he has money and all of that," said Engebrecht.

But Kerri says she doesn't blame Lasry.

"It's not his fault. it's the fault of DHS and its committee that's making these rules. they don't have something in place, they don't have something mandated to tell people what to do with these extra vaccines," said Engebrecht.

During a COVID-19 briefing, Friday, the governor and state health leaders responded to the criticism that people not in the eligible vaccination groups are still somehow getting the vaccine.

"Once you've gone into a vial in a day you can't just put it back in the refrigerator and use the rest tomorrow you have to empty that particular vial," said Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk, with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Deputy Secretary Willems Van Dijk added that every vaccinator signs an agreement with DHS to vaccinate those who've been prioritized to receive the vaccine and if facilities continue to violate recommendations they're at risk of losing the opportunity to receive any more vaccines.

"I would rather have them do that than throw something away," said Governor Tony Evers.

Kerri says that's unacceptable, and better planning is needed.

"You can strongly suggest, you can have a set of standards, you can have an outline for how it needs to be done," said Engebrecht.

TMJ4 news asked Lasry for an interview, but he declined.

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