New 'HealthyMKE' campaign aims to ease COVID-19 vaccine concerns, educate Milwaukee-area residents

NOW: New ’HealthyMKE’ campaign aims to ease COVID-19 vaccine concerns, educate Milwaukee-area residents

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Although thousands in Milwaukee County have received the COVID-19 vaccine, many are still unsure if it is right for them.

A new campaign, HealthyMKE, is aiming to help ease concerns and provide education.

The effort is also about empowering people in the Milwaukee area to make informed choices on getting vaccinated.

Beginning Monday, April 12, residents will see and hear ads featuring real, local people.

“Taking the vaccine is a personal choice. We hope that it’s an informed choice and getting information to people takes a lot of different efforts,” Mara Lord, vaccine communications and community mobilization committee SVP at the Medical College of Wisconsin, said.

The $900,000 campaign combined research and focus groups to understand people’s concerns and intent on getting vaccinated.

“Across the board, everyone has a strong desire to get back to the people and the places that they love. So we had conversations on how being vaccinated can help move you closer to that goal," Lorraine Lathen, owner of Jump at the Sun Consultants, LLC, said.

This effort targets the city’s north and south side communities – which have been overly impacted by the virus.

“We are the highest hit individuals, the Brown, the Black individuals, and do you really understand what we’re feeling? So when you bring it in to us, even though the message may be the same, it’s who’s delivering the message,” Gwen Washington, a Milwaukeean featured in the campaign, said.

This campaign is hitting the streets, too.

Volunteers will go door-to-door within 15 of Milwaukee’s most vulnerable ZIP codes.

They will answer people’s questions and provide factual information.

The campaign will also engage efforts of local leaders to reach their networks of people.

“People want to hear from their neighbors, from their coworkers, from the people that they love, how their experience was getting this vaccine," Caroline Gomez-Tom, director of patient & community engagement at Sixteenth Street Clinic, said.

A broad coalition of groups from local government, nonprofit, health care and community joined together for the campaign.

For more information, click here.

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