COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to lag in Milwaukee’s communities of color. Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus in WisconsinBut now, a new initiative is attempting to change that.Cameras were rolling Friday in Gwen Washington’s north side living room.The retired MPS employee was filming a new ad to encourage others to trust in the COVID-19 vaccine.”Were you reluctant at any point about the vaccine?” WISN 12 News reporter Kent Wainscott asked her.”I was. I absolutely was,” Washington said.But Washington, who lost a family member to COVID-19, said learning the facts about the vaccine convinced her.”I do need to go forward with this because I owe it to my family and the community that I live in,” Washington said.That’s the message behind a new $900,000 outreach effort by Healthy MKE, a coalition of community groups, to build vaccine confidence in Milwaukee’s Black, Hispanic and Latinx communities, where vaccination numbers are lagging.”Taking the vaccine is a choice. We just want it to be an informed choice,” said Mara Lord of the Medical College of WisconsinAs important as the message coming from this campaign, organizers say, is who’s delivering the message.”Authentic voices. We heard it over and over again,” said focus group coordinator Lorraine Lathen.Lathen said focus groups with people unsure about the vaccine revealed a clear message.”We want to hear from people like us who have taken, who have been vaccinated, what has their experience been,” Lathen said.That’s what this campaign aims to do.”If you’re hearing those same individuals saying, hey, I’ve done it. I’ve had it done. It does make a difference,” Washington said.The vaccine messages will start appearing on television, radio and across social media in early April. Sign up for coronavirus email alerts from WISNGet breaking news alerts with the WISN 12 app.Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to lag in Milwaukee’s communities of color.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus in Wisconsin

But now, a new initiative is attempting to change that.

Cameras were rolling Friday in Gwen Washington’s north side living room.

The retired MPS employee was filming a new ad to encourage others to trust in the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Were you reluctant at any point about the vaccine?” WISN 12 News reporter Kent Wainscott asked her.

“I was. I absolutely was,” Washington said.

But Washington, who lost a family member to COVID-19, said learning the facts about the vaccine convinced her.

“I do need to go forward with this because I owe it to my family and the community that I live in,” Washington said.

That’s the message behind a new $900,000 outreach effort by Healthy MKE, a coalition of community groups, to build vaccine confidence in Milwaukee’s Black, Hispanic and Latinx communities, where vaccination numbers are lagging.

“Taking the vaccine is a choice. We just want it to be an informed choice,” said Mara Lord of the Medical College of Wisconsin

As important as the message coming from this campaign, organizers say, is who’s delivering the message.

“Authentic voices. We heard it over and over again,” said focus group coordinator Lorraine Lathen.

Lathen said focus groups with people unsure about the vaccine revealed a clear message.

“We want to hear from people like us who have taken, who have been vaccinated, what has their experience been,” Lathen said.

That’s what this campaign aims to do.

“If you’re hearing those same individuals saying, hey, I’ve done it. I’ve had it done. It does make a difference,” Washington said.

The vaccine messages will start appearing on television, radio and across social media in early April.

Sign up for coronavirus email alerts from WISN

Get breaking news alerts with the WISN 12 app.
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