Wisconsin Center to be used to administer COVID-19 vaccines, officials say

wisconsin center
Posted at 3:49 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 16:49:20-05

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee city and county officials expect hundreds more COVID-19 vaccines to arrive within next week, and said they plan to use the Wisconsin Center as a site to administer the doses.

Mayor Tom Barrett explained during a press conference Thursday that they received 100 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday. More than half of those doses have been allocated to frontline workers. Another 800 doses are expected to arrive next week, Barrett said.

The process is fragile, as health officials need to maintain the freshness of the doses, which expire within 120 hours if not properly stored.

That is where the Wisconsin Center comes in. The mayor says the large facility will be used to administer both 1A and 1B groups of vaccines. Barrett says the freezers used to keep the vaccines fresh are in a "secure" area in the center, in order to avoid a situation like in Grafton, where a pharmacist is accused of destroying hundreds of vaccine doses, according to authorities.

Watch the press conference here:

"We felt Wisconsin Center was a safer, more controlled environment. We are looking at other options and drive-thrus are absolutely an option," said Interim Milwaukee Health Commissioner Marlaina Jackson at the press conference.

Mayor Barrett said he expects the Wisconsin Center will be administering doses to frontline workers sometime next week.

Dr. Ben Weston, medical services director for Milwaukee County's Office of Emergency Management, said they hope to provide vaccines to the 1B and 1C groups of people by March and April, and to the rest of the population in the following months.

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