By Keith Stanley, NWSP Executive Director
As of the end of August the Near West Side communities Merrill Park, Concordia and Avenues West are still in the lower vaccination rates in the City of Milwaukee still below the 35K per 100k residents for first doses administered.
Near West Side Partners (NWSP) have worked with a number of agencies including Catholic Financial Life, City On A Hill, Daddy’s Soul Food, Ellastic Designs, the Milwaukee Bucks, Neighborhood House, United Neighborhood Center of MIlwaukee (UNCOM), and a number of our anchor institutions like Advocate Aurora Health and funder Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
The support of these partnerships have allowed NWSP staff to engage the community in many ways. Here are a few examples:
Distribute over 6,000 COVID vaccination and education flyers to 3500 housing units in the Near West Side
Host two (2) vaccination clinics
Promote Near West Side vaccination sites and resources to the local community
Promote and educate residents via print and social media campaigns
Develop a campaign using local, trusted voices on social media, click this link for one of the videos
As NWSP staff continues to work in the community what has been shared regarding vaccination hesitancy is convenience. Vaccinations clinics should be where residents live including in the multi-units, stores and churches if possible.
Despite the work of NWSP staff and the partnerships vaccination rates are still in many areas of the Near West Side. In addition to mistrust and fear in this community, it is the miseducation and consistent fabricated lies of the vaccination by people with larger media platforms that continue to make progress in this community challenging.
As we learn from our outreach efforts and pivot to address the lessons learned we are seeing that consistent and long-term messaging helps. During our last outreach efforts, we had the opportunity to interview two people on why they finally got vaccinated.