By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
Wisconsin is receiving $47 million in federal funding to help cover the costs of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency also known as FEMA announced the aid distribution on Sunday, Jan. 31.
“FEMA is committed to expanding COVID-19 vaccination efforts across the country,” Kevin M. Sligh, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5, said. “This expedited grant funding will increase vaccine access across Wisconsin and is an important resource in the state’s fight to stop the spread of this virus.”
The two mainstream vaccines being administrated are the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine.
“We are grateful to FEMA Region 5 for their ongoing support,” Dr. Darrell L. Williams, Wisconsin Emergency Management administrator, said in the press release. “The partial fulfillment of this expedited request will go a long way towards helping our ongoing response to COVID-19 to include our vaccination efforts throughout the great state of Wisconsin.”
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services provides updates on COVID-19 statistics every week. In the state of Wisconsin, 2,510,670 people have tested negative for COVID-19 and 543,165 have tested positive, as of Monday, Feb. 1. The department noted that 96% of all cases have recovered thus far.
The department announced that 100,000 Wisconsinites have completed their COVID-19 vaccine series and 500,000+ doses have been administrated as of Sunday, Jan. 31.
Last month, the City of Milwaukee began vaccinating city employees. The first employees to be vaccinated were considered Phase 1A or frontline health care personnel. Since opening last month, the vaccine site, which is located at the Wisconsin Center, 555 W. Wells St., is now offering the vaccine to individuals in groups Phase 1A to Phase 1B.
Phase 1B includes emergency responders, corrections workers, individuals age 65 and older who are residents of the City of Milwaukee and individuals 65 years and older who are employed by the city. In other words, senior citizens can now sign up to receive the vaccine through the city’s vaccine distribution site.
To register for the vaccine, go to https://mke-vaccines.egov.com/ or dial 2-1-1 for additional assistance. Appointments are scheduled 1 to 14 days in advance depending on vaccine availability. Proof of eligibility is required.
As the vaccine becomes more widely available, more people will be able to receive it. Still, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services continues to remind Wisconsinites to wear a mask, maintain social distancing measures and practice good hygiene.