MILWAUKEE— The push to get more Wisconsinites vaccinated continues.
Despite availability, some refuse shots.
Others don’t know where to go to get one, or feel they don’t have enough information to trust the COVID-19 vaccine.
That’s where a group of Milwaukee volunteers steps in. These community mobilizers are going door-to-door for the next six to eight weeks, answering questions about the vaccine to anyone who has them.
“There’s a lack of African American men and African Americans in general in my community that are not being vaccinated,” said Eugene Nelson, who lives in Milwaukee’s 53206 zip code. “We know this population in general has been touched tremendously by COVID-19.”
Lorraine Lathen is President of Jump at the Sun Consultants, a company with focus on reaching under-served communities in the Milwaukee Metro.
“Our focus has been on addressing health disparities,” Lathen said.
Lathen said the goal is to recruit about 150 volunteers to door-knock in 15 majority minority Milwaukee communities, providing information about the vaccine.
“We are not here to try to convince someone to be vaccinated,” she said. “We want to equip them with the information so that they can make informed decisions.”
The effort is in partnership with the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County.
“We’ll deploy them and they’ll knock on doors and then we’ll come back and de-brief,” Lathen said. “'What were your challenges? What questions did you answer? What were your successes?”'
“When I went to get vaccinated for my first shot, I noticed there was only one African American that was also there,” Nelson said.
Nelson also works with Black men who have recently been incarcerated. He said he has seen the mistrust within the Black community, especially in his home zip code of 53206.
“It dates back to not having trust in particular systems and administrations,” Nelson said. “They’re fearful of doing something that they’re really not knowledgable about.”
Community mobilizers plan to target the hispanic, Native American and refugee communities as well over these new couple of months.