'An opportunity for everybody': Mexican Fiesta hosts successful vaccine clinics

NOW: ’An opportunity for everybody’: Mexican Fiesta hosts successful vaccine clinics

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - Sunday, Aug. 29 marked the last day of the Mexican Fiesta.  People have been enjoying the entertainment and food at the popular event, but it has also been an opportunity for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine with several vaccine tents at the event.

All weekend long health organizations like Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Milwaukee County Public Health have been engaging with attendees on the COVID-19 vaccine and getting more and more people vaccinated. They say the clinics have been a success.

"Most people I think are grateful that there are opportunities to get vaccinated out in the community and some of them have already been vaccinated  but we're getting a response, people are willing to get vaccinated," said Jill LeStarge, a public health nurse and communicable disease and immunization program supervisor at the City of Milwaukee Health Department.

LeStarge said events like these are the perfect opportunity to reach populations that that may not have heard about the vaccine or may not have as easy access to the vaccine as others.

"A lot of people are coming out and getting their first shots which I'm very excited about. Some people come through with some questions they may have and we're happy to answer any questions about the vaccine, but a lot of people have been coming to get their first shot today," said Lauren Whitaker, a student nurse at University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.

Whitaker has been vaccinating people all weekend at the event. So far, they have vaccinated about 50 people at Mexican Fiesta.

"That's an opportunity for everybody to take advantage of it because it's something that is gonna save us by not having people be so contagious," said Martha Andrave, an attendee of Mexican Fiesta.

"We have seen about almost 50 people this morning and we're aggressively engaging and hoping that more people will join us before the end of the night," said Jesus Barbosa, an Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield community relations representative.

Targeting Hispanic and Latino populations is especially something important local health organizations are working on. Barbosa says the clinic at Mexican Fiesta has been helpful in that.

"Given that there’s so much misinformation and fear, and when you combine that with issues of immigration, particularly in the Latino community, we want to ensure that they feel that they hopefully will trust us and we'll ensure that we'll take care of their health and I think everybody wins and hopefully we can cut short or help combat the pandemic," said Barbosa.

LeStarge said they have vaccination clinics at their Northwest Health Center and their Southside Health Center. They are happening Monday from 9am to 3pm and Friday 9am to 3pm. Thursday they have a late clinic from 12 pm to 6pm.

To learn more about local vaccination opportunities, click here

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