'Helpful in many ways': The impact the CDC news about vaccinated people shedding masks could have on mental health

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- At Spiritual Israel Church in Milwaukee, Health Connections, Inc. was offering the vaccine and education. 

"People have a lot of questions and not a lot of places to go to actually get information from trusted messengers, "said Ericka Sinclair, founder and CEO of Health Connections, Inc. "Then they trust us, they trust the churches, so we take advantage of the fact of that trust and we go ahead and be the ones that educate them."

"Drop in cases, higher rate of vaccination, that's the secret sauce to getting back to normal," said Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer at UW Health. 

As those in health care work to educate those who may be hesitant, Dr. Pothof says the news from the CDC that fully vaccinated people can shed their mask in most indoor spots could be helpful. 

"I think for some people, this will be the nudge that gets them over the line to go head and get vaccinated. Now combined with all this data of just how safe and effective the vaccine is, it really is something that's incredible," said Pothof. 

Dr. Tyler Rickers, with Rogers Behavioral Health, says he thinks the CDC news will also have a positive impact on mental health. 

"Of course there will be some challenges in terms of anxieties getting out there and getting used to being mask-less in society, and some of us have that as a safety blanket now, so moving away from that could be a bit of a challenge," he said. 

While he says there have not been studies done, he's seen people with less COVID anxiety after getting the vaccine. 

"You get the vaccine and a couple weeks later, you’re feeling a lot less anxious. Someone slipping with their nose in the mask or eating in the same room, that anxiety gets better, so I think it’s going to be tremendously helpful in many ways."

Health Connections, Inc. is holding a number of vaccine clinics over the next month in Milwaukee: 

  • Saturday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Faithful Mission Pentecostal Church, 935 W. Keeve Avenue
  • Tuesday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church/Metropolitan Mission Baptist Church, 2959 N. Teutonia Avenue
  • Tuesday, May 18 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grace Fellowship Road, 3879 North Port Washington Road 
  • Thursday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, 2375 North 25th Street 
  • Friday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Allen Ebenezer CME Church, 2669 N. 19th Street 
  • Saturday, May 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Community of Grace Baptist Church, 1809 W. Atkinson Avenue 
  • Saturday, May 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Christway UMC Church, 3001 W. Mitchell Street 
  • Tuesday, May 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tabernacle Community Baptist Church, 2500 W. Medford Avenue 
  • Thursday, May 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at El Bethel Cogic, 5401 W. Good Hope Road 
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