Ascension North side pop-up vaccine clinics aim to 'reach people where they live'

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Two pop-up vaccine clinics on the north side on Saturday, May 1, aimed to get vaccines into underserved communities.

Staff from Ascension Wisconsin operated vaccines clinics at the Social Develop Commission and the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club at Sherman Park.

"We want to make it convenient, especially for those folks who don't have transportation or have transportation issues in the neighborhood," said George Hinton, chief executive officer for the Social Development Commission.

Nurses said the clinic at the Boys & Girls Club was busy Saturday morning.

"We wanna reach people where they live," said Julia Means, a community health nurse. "It may be more difficult for them to go somewhere else, but if it's just down the street or in my community, I'm more apt to come."

Means has administered about 1,000 vaccines since December.

"Come on down; get your shot. Get some freedom and some peace of mind," she said.

Kathy Thornton-Bias, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, said she believes it's important to offer clinics in places where people feel comfortable.

"We've been at the Sherman Park neighborhood for decades, so coming together made sense. Sherman Park, as you probably remember, was the epicenter of the COVID-19 virus thirteen months ago. We were being disproportionately affected. Black, African-American men -- particularly of a certain age group -- were dying of this deadly virus and disease. So we thought, 'what better place to make a stand against this?'" Thornton-Bias said.

Keviona Moore, an employee at the Boys & Girls Club, got vaccinated Saturday. She said she tried to convince her friends to get the shot with her, but they were hesitant.

"I felt like since I'm young -- I'm only 19 -- I can set an example to try and make everybody come and get it," Moore said.

Thornton-Bias encouraged the community to remember the importance of getting vaccinated.

"I didn't get vaccinated for me. I got vaccinated for other people, and that I think is the big message: Get vaccinated for others," she said.

Community members who got vaccinated at the two pop-up clinics Saturday will have to come back on May 22 to get their second doses.

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