MILWAUKEE - The push to get people vaccinated on Milwaukee's south side is getting some help from a woman who knows COVID-19's impact all too well.
At UMOS on Chase Avenue, a vaccination clinic will open to everyone April 10-11. The site will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"As a Latina myself, I know the culture," said Lerma. "Some of us tend to be a little more stubborn. We believe that nothing is ever going to happen to us. However, it does happen."
Last year, Lerma spend four months in the hospital battling COVID-19 -- resulting in a double lung transplant that saved her life.
"This virus is not something you should underestimate," Lerma said.
Now fully vaccinated, Lerma is using her horror story as a way to motivate the south side to roll up its sleeves.
Walgreens and Anthem will partner with UMOS to offer 1,600 vaccines at the weekend clinic.
"We are accepting walk-ups. We aren’t turning anyone away," said Rita Saavedra with Anthem.
The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is being offered.
"What we are hearing from a lot of community members is they are more comfortable taking the one-dose. The one shot where they just come in that one time and they’re done," Saavedra said.
Last summer, UMOS was the backdrop for one of Milwaukee's largest COVID-19 testing sites. Long lines often wrapped around the block.
There is hope many will hear Lerma's story and realize the vaccine's minor side effects are nothing compared to what she went through.
"Every day is a new day for me," Lerma said.
Walgreens is partnering with another vaccination clinic if you can’t make the UMOS one this weekend. That clinic will be open two days next weekend:
- April 17 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Destiny High School, 7210 N. 76th St.
- April 18: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at St. Augustine High School, 2607 S. 5th St.
Appointments are encouraged for the clinics but are not required.