Milwaukee walk-in vaccine clinics set to launch in effort to address racial disparities in vaccine access

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Residents in ten zip codes will have the opportunity to visit two walk-in clinics to receive a COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, March 22 as part of an effort to address disparities in vaccine access that has seen White residents have higher vaccination rates compared to Black and Latino residents.

People age 16 and up living in 53204, 53205, 53206, 53209, 53215, 53216, 53218, 53223, 53224 and 53233 are eligible to participate in the walk-in clinics.

Those clinics are located at North Division High School and South Division High School and will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“This is our opportunity to really take this pandemic on and to get rid of it once and for all,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said at a news conference at South Division High School. Barrett said the city and county worked with the state to help address the issue of vaccine disparities.

“Those zip codes that have the highest negative determinants of health and other social indicators, are also the areas that received the least amount of vaccinations,” Barrett said. “In other words, those people who are most vulnerable have received the least amount of vaccinations.”

Other community leaders hope these clinics help Black and Latino communities in Milwaukee.

“We know already that here in Milwaukee county we have high numbers of white Milwaukeeans who have obtained their covid shot,” Ald. JoCasta Zamarripa told CBS 58. “Unfortunately the same is not true in our Latino and African-American communities. Those numbers are substantially lower.”

Those who go to the clinics will be asked where they reside, but other documentation, like social security numbers, immigration status, proof of medical condition and others will not be asked for.

In a media briefing on Thursday, March 18, the state Department of Health Services said it hopes other areas of the state can replicate Milwaukee’s system to help address access disparities.

“We are also encouraging our partners across the state to be thinking of similar ways to increase access to people who might find barriers to getting vaccines who may have faced systemic issues that have prevented them from receiving care,” Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk told reporters.

Another walk-in clinic will open on March 29 at Northwest Health Center.

More information on the city’s vaccine efforts and where you can get a vaccine can be found here.

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