Push in NE Wisconsin to close vaccination gap among minority communities

Data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services showed low vaccination rates among minority populations.
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 5:52 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - There’s an effort underway in Northeast Wisconsin to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to people with the hopes of closing disparities, especially among minority populations.

An array of businesses and non-profits came together in Allouez on Thursday, encouraging minorities who are holding out across our area to get vaccinated.

“We are right now at the point like other vaccinating entities where we’re bringing the vaccine to the people,” Oneida Nation Public Health Officer Michelle Myers said.

Data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services showed low vaccination rates among minority populations. By Thursday, only 22% of Black Wisconsinites received at least one dose. Hispanics and Native Americans are at 29% while for Asians it’s 42%.

Several points were mentioned by industry leaders on Thursday to explain the state’s numbers, including language barriers, access to the vaccine, and a distrust towards health professionals.

“We’re going to treat this like a full blown campaign and start going neighborhood to neighborhood, person to person,” Dr. Sabrina Robins said. She’s a board member of the non-profit African Heritage Inc.

To drive up vaccination numbers among Hispanics, there’ll be an outreach toward employers.

“We’re reaching out to the farms because we know that the farms have a lot of Hispanic employees and farmers, so they don’t have the ability to come to the city,” Elizabeth Kostichka, Hispanic Vaccine Coordinator at Casa Alba Melanie, said.

According to Casa Alba Melanie, there are some Hispanics who are fearful to receive the vaccine due to their citizenship status.

Green Bay Area Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Murley said he’s working with local medical providers to offer the vaccines at some schools.

“Now that students ages 12 and up have the opportunity to be vaccinated, we are moving even closer to a return to normal. I encourage all education staff and all students to get vaccinated,” Murley said.

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