MILWAUKEE - Some Milwaukee landmarks are transforming into COVID-19 vaccine clinics in the coming days.
That includes Maier Festival Park, where Summerfest goers will have the chance to get their shot before a September slate of shows.
With the 2021 music festival delayed a few months, there is time and ample space to transform the grounds into a vaccine clinic and, ultimately, get more people vaccinated through the gates come fall.
Few activities represent life returning to normal more than the return of Summerfest.
Pick 'n Save and Kroger Health are using the "Big Gig" as a backdrop in their push to make the COVID-19 vaccine widely available.
"We’re trying to get as many vaccines administered as we can," said Jim Hyland of Roundy's.
The grocery store chain is opening a community-based clinic at the Summerfest guest services building beginning March 30. It is already operating clinics at 67 stores across Wisconsin, part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership Program.
"With the larger allocations, we’ll do about 6,000 (shots) a week," Hyland said.
From a massive site to a more intimate setting, Gee's Clippers barbershop is partnering with Hayat Pharmacy to bring the vaccine to many in the Black community who may not seek it out themselves.
"Men tend to have a better relationship with their barber than their physician," said owner Gaulien "Gee" Smith.
Smith plans to lead by example and be the first one in line when the clinic opens Saturday morning. He hopes to ease people's fears and show them good health is even more important than a good haircut.
Gaulien "Gee" Smith
"I am a person who has health issues, so it kind of scares me to get it," said Yulanda Homes of Milwaukee. "Gee is known around the community and I know that he wouldn’t steer us wrong in any decision that he makes. So I’m comfortable getting it."
"I just want to do my part in making sure my community is as healthy as they can be," Smith said.
At the Summerfest grounds, the clinic will be open every Tuesday and Thursday, plus some Saturdays. Patients must schedule an appointment first.
The Gee's Clippers clinic is open the next few Saturdays and allows walk-ins.