The Milwaukee Health Department began vaccinations Monday for people 65 and older.
The health department said it’s vaccinating some people who signed up for alerts on the city’s website, but the department is also working with churches and housing programs to make sure they’re reaching a diverse group of people 65 and older.
Monday and Tuesday mark the first days vaccinations at the Wisconsin Center go public. 70-year-old Marva Meinert found out Saturday she would be one of the first to get a shot.
"I was just waiting for my name to come up, I’m actually registered in 3 places,” Meinert said. "First call, first come."
The Milwaukee Health Department said about 1,500 people 65 and older will be vaccinated at the Wisconsin Center at the beginning of this week. Preparedness coordinator Nick Tomaro said scheduling itself is a huge undertaking.
"We have had some problems with the link for scheduling being shared inappropriately,” he said. “We've had our links shared on Facebook, we've had our link passed around amongst individuals who are not appropriate for vaccine at this time so as everyone's kind of experiencing around the state and around the country, we really are trying to target specific groups."
Tomaro said the city will transition from administering the Pfizer vaccine to Moderna’s on Wednesday, but supply is still outweighed by demand.
"We have the ability to scale up to about 10,000 a week is what we're projecting but there is not enough vaccine available right now,” he said.
Meinert said her experience Monday couldn’t have been more smooth.
"It's not congested and I like the process,” she said.
Getting vaccinated was incredibly important for Meinert who said the only time she’s seen her kids and grandchildren was a socially distanced celebration at Christmas.
Local health departments are just one avenue to getting vaccinated. The state is also depending on hospital systems and pharmacies which started vaccinating people 65 and older last week.
The Milwaukee Health Department said it spent last week finishing first doses for people in phase 1A of the state’s distribution plan along with police and fire personnel.
Learn more about the city’s vaccination plans at HealthyMKE.com.