Running Rebels host vaccine clinics and combat access and misinformation
MILWAUKEE – As Omicron continues to grow, Milwaukee County’s health officials say only about 63% of its residents are vaccinated.
Although there has been an improvement since the pandemic began, differences in the vaccination rate for color communities remain.
“If we look at vaccinations in Milwaukee County at the beginning, going back to the beginning of the pandemic, about 10% of vaccines went to our most vulnerable populations. It was an extremely low number, “said Milwaukee County’s Chief Health Policy Advisor Dr. Ben Weston.
He said the number has now increased to around 50%, but there is still room for improvement.
“When you look at national data, and I think a lot of it applies to Milwaukee County, there is an overlap between misinformation and barriers to entry,” said Dr. Weston.
Community center clinics like Running Rebels can certainly help remove these barriers.
“We can put trust in the community. You can come in, get vaccinated, or speak to the local doctors or nurses who are also on site if you have any questions, ”said Running Rebels community organizer Jeremiah Thomas.
Running Rebels has already hosted several vaccination clinics in the past few months. The organization is hosting more this week.
COVID-19 and flu vaccinations are available on Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the location of the Running Rebels Capitol Dr. available. Another vaccination clinic will take place on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Running Rebels’ location on Fond du Lac Avenue.
“Our main concern is that many people are not getting the vaccine or simply do not know the information about it,” said Thomas. “Mainly because we are a fringe group and the black community is very much affected by it.”
In the postcode 53212, which is the location of Captiol Dr. only 47.6% of the population are fully vaccinated. At 53205 postcode, Fond du Lac Ave. 46% of the population are vaccinated. The lowest rate in the city is in zip code 53206, where only 36.9% of residents are vaccinated.
These three zip codes have a predominantly black population, and these vaccination rates are below the citywide rate of 61%.
Thomas encourages the community to visit one of the Running Rebels vaccination clinics, even if you are not planning a vaccination, to at least have your questions answered by the local health care providers.
“I really care about community health because we just don’t have a lot of access to health care and the like. So we do this and try to make sure people know about it.” said Thomas.
He said he also saw firsthand the toll the pandemic has taken on the youth at Running Rebels.
“If there are no young people who come because of the mandates and enjoy their free time and express themselves because the people are not vaccinated, that will only hold back many of us and our youth. I can see that,” said Thomas.
Appointments are recommended for Running Rebels vaccination clinics, but walk-ins are welcome. You can email [email protected] to schedule an appointment.
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