Vaccination Outreach Ramps up Across WI
Friday, March 26, 2021
MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin has been expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations. As more residents gain access, outreach continues in urban and rural areas to provide reassurance about the safety and importance of getting a shot.
This week, state health officials announced those 16 and older with certain medical conditions putting them at greater risk for infection, are now eligible.
Melody McCurtis is deputy director of priorities and an organizer at Metcalfe Park Community Bridges in Milwaukee, a neighborhood whose residents are mostly Black. She said while some might be hesitant about a vaccine, that doesn't mean they refuse to get one.
McCurtis pointed to the history of their public health infrastructure.
"It was not equitable before COVID hit," said McCurtis. "We have no clinics in Metcalfe Park. We don't have access to health."
Her group is working with several partners on opening up vaccination sites, but also listening to neighborhood concerns.
Elsewhere, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau is reminding members that agricultural production workers have been eligible for nearly a month. While not a direct response, that outreach coincides with polling that indicates more rural residents would choose not to get a vaccine.
The Wall Street Journal reports the Biden administration is teaming up with groups such as the American Farm Bureau to provide reassuring messages in rural communities. Wisconsin Farm Bureau president Kevin Krentz said having more farmers and their workers vaccinated can allow them to safely visit and shop at their local stores.
"And you multiply that by the thousands of farms across the state of Wisconsin," said Krentz, "that's a huge impact on our local communities."
While farmers often work in isolation, he noted there still are plenty of interactions on their property, including visits from veterinarians. The Bureau says those are other reasons for farmers and their staff to get vaccinated.
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