Milwaukee County sees improvement in vaccinating vulnerable populations

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- In Milwaukee County, there's an average of 250 new COVD-19 cases a day, and four deaths.

Health officials say there are some positive trends: the percent positivity is slowly declining and the number of deaths is stable. Still, they say vaccinations are vital to keep those trends in the right direction.

"This will be a busy week for the FDA, and we may see substantial changes coming to booster recommendations," said Dr. Ben Weston, chief health policy advisor for Milwaukee County.

The FDA advisory panel will discuss boosters of the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines. 

A vaccine for younger kids might be available soon.  On Oct. 26, the FDA will review data on the use of Pfizer's vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11.

"We hope that emergency authorization will happen soon, and I think all our systems are working to understand how we'll distribute it to the children," said Dr. Smriti Khare, president of primary care at Children’s Wisconsin. "We're ready to go as soon as the FDA says we're ready to go."

Right now in Milwaukee, 57.2 percent of those over 16 are fully vaccinated, and 62.5 percent have had their first dose.

Health experts say there has been a big improvement when it comes to vaccinating at-risk populations.

"We can see that at the beginning of the vaccine campaign, less than 10 percent of vaccine was going to our most vulnerable," Dr. Weston said. "Now, nearly 50 percent of our vaccine goes to the most vulnerable."

Dr. Weston says there is still work to be done, because there are still lower vaccine rates and higher disease rates in populations of color.

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