Community volunteers, with support from the city Health Department, have embarked on a door-to-door campaign to deliver vaccines to the residents of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the roving vaccine clinics began about a week ago and have resulted in 137 residents receiving their COVID shot.
One volunteer told WPR that he joined the effort because he “doesn’t think the Black community has gotten enough education about the coronavirus.”
“It’s very important that we get out here and educate the people in this community about COVID and the dangers of it,” he said.
The zip code that volunteers were canvassing in is a majority African-American community.
Statistics from the Milwaukee Health Department indicate that only about 28 percent of residents in the 53206 zip code have received their first vaccine, with 24 percent being fully inoculated.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, according to WPR, indicated the door-to-door vaccines mark “the next, most intricate chapter in the city’s vaccination journey.”
“If people will trust the science, if people will trust the health care, if people will trust the vaccine, we will be able to declare victory,” he said.
Milwaukee’s move coincides but is independent of a White House announcement to launch a “targeted, community door-to-door outreach” to get Americans vaccinated and educate them “by ensuring they have the information they need.”
The idea of delivering door-to-door vaccines or educating people by “literally knocking on doors,” as President Biden has said, has received a fair amount of pushback.
One woman, a middle school teacher who is using her education skills as a mobile vaccinator, WPR writes, has experienced both negative and positive responses.
“The work can be both rewarding and discouraging when doors are slammed in her face,” they explain.
While this effort in Milwaukee involves volunteers with support from the city Health Department, the Biden administration raised eyebrows recently with their idea that door-to-door pressure to get the vaccine is perfectly acceptable.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra defended the tactic by suggesting the government has a right to your medical information because they paid “to try to keep Americans alive during this pandemic.”
“It is absolutely the government’s business,” Becerra insisted. “It is taxpayers’ business, if we have to continue to spend money to try to keep people from contracting Covid and helping reopen the economy.”
According to Fox 6 in Milwaukee, the door-to-door effort is also reaching out to residents to see if they need smoke detectors and the city has plans in place to install faucet-mounted water filters for those needing them.
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