The City of Milwaukee is once again offering a financial incentive to try and boost vaccination rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting Thursday, anyone ages 5 and up getting their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine will receive a $100 gift card.
This comes as adult vaccination rates for the disease have slowed, and childhood shots remain low across the state and nation.
Fewer than a quarter of children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 according to state data, a situation that one pediatrician said could leave Wisconsin a "sitting duck" as the pandemic continues with high levels of infection in every county even as new cases are declining.
In Milwaukee, over 14 percent of tests are coming back positive and health officials say the community has "extreme transmission" of COVID-19.
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During a Milwaukee Health Department press conference, acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, along with local health officials, urged people to wear face masks indoors, get tested and get vaccinated — advice they hope will go further will some cash.
"There are 1,000 of these $100 dollar gift cards available to residents. Take advantage of this opportunity to protect your health, the health of the community and earn some extra money," Johnson said at a press conference Tuesday.
Additionally, Milwaukee County is giving away free N95 masks through Feb. 4 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Marcia P. Coggs Human Services Center.
Gift cards for first doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed at all city health sites and mobile clinics.