Milwaukee COVID vaccine effort goes door to door

Door-to-door COVID-19 vaccinations are helping in Milwaukee as people struggle to find time and information to get the shot.

On the city's north side, less than 40% of the population has been vaccinated.

"You get all kinds of questions, the only thing that hurts me is not enough people are saying yes," said ViAnna Jordan, a COVID-19 vaccine mobilizer.

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With cases of the delta variant rising, mobilizers like Jordan with "Jump At The Sun" are going into neighborhoods and asking residents to reconsider getting the shot – offering shots on-site.

"I am a mobilizer. I get my little crew and we go out door-to-door and we’re seeking people who have not been vaccinated," Jordan said. "We want to afford everyone in the community an opportunity to become vaccinated."

ViAnna Jordan (L) participates in a door-to-door COVID-19 vaccine effort on Milwaukee's north side.

Mobilizers are walking 15 blocks per day, five days a week. At some homes, people are vaccinated while others are not.

"They’re kind of doubtful that it is really a cure, but I felt relief when I got my vaccine," said Jordan.

Sarah Matuszak with the Milwaukee Health Department said several hundreds of vaccines have been given out in this fashion since the program began in July.

"A lot of them say that without us going door to door, they wouldn’t have got vaccinated," Matuszak said, adding that a big reason people often say "no" in the Black community is mistrust in the government. "We have to remember that there are some people still living who remember the Tuskegee, of course. And people who have grown up listening to the horrors associated with that. I would first of all say that their concerns are valid and they are heard."

A door-to-door COVID-19 vaccine effort on Milwaukee's north side.

COVID-19 numbers are once again starting to rise disproportionately in Black and brown communities.

"My young people, they don’t understand. They say they don’t trust the government, the Tuskegee and everything that happened to Black people down south," said Jordan. 

It is encouraging Jordan to grind harder, hoping to save more lives than they perhaps already have.

"To be out here doing this and help the community is a blessing," Jordan said. "Look around you, too many people have had the vaccine, so you know it’s effective. It’s time to get with the program."

ViAnna Jordan (R) participates in a door-to-door COVID-19 vaccine effort on Milwaukee's north side.

Crews are identifying other needs and working to help with those while doing this sort of in-person communication.

The group is also working with the Milwaukee Fire Department to make sure everyone's smoke detectors are working. They have replaced 560 units free of charge since July.

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