MILWAUKEE — Dozens of people were awarded free Brewers tickets Wednesday for turning out to a pop-up vaccine clinic at American Family Field.
The Brewers collaborated with the Milwaukee Health Department to offer the clinic at Helfaer Field before Wednesday night's game to encourage more people to get vaccinated. Patients could choose either Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
"I wanted to get the Johnson & Johnson, so it was nice that that was available," said James Werwinski.
Alex Lacombe said he and his friend wanted to get vaccinated, and then heard he could score some tickets to the game.
"We decided this would be a good chance to get it. We haven’t been to a Brewer game yet, too," Lacombe said.
Adam Wessel and his sister Rachel said they are big Brewers fans.
"Our parents and our other siblings have it, and we haven’t had it yet and figured it was time," Wessel said.
The free tickets even convinced some people who weren't so sure.
"I had actually planned on not getting it because I was thinking I was way too good for it," said Jesus Micheel. "But then work told me, 'if you don’t get it then you can’t take your mask off until you get it,' so I'm like, fine, I'll just get it."
Brewers President Rick Schlesinger said the organization will continue to work with the health department to figure out more vaccine opportunities.
"Whatever incentives the Brewers can provide to encourage vaccinations, we’re very excited about doing it," Schlesinger said. "We’re citizens of this city, and we want everyone to be healthy and safe."
State data shows close to 45 percent of people in Milwaukee County have at least one dose, but it also shows younger populations have lower vaccination rates and larger racial disparities.
Officials say every shot they give counts.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said they are working with community and church groups to try to bring the vaccine to people.
"Now we’re at the point where you got individuals, some of whom are willing to get it, and some of whom might take some cajoling," said Mayor Barrett. "But if it’s in front of them, they may do it. That's where we are at right now. So instead of measuring this in thousands per day, we’re measuring it in dozens per event."
Starting June 1, fully vaccinated attendees will not be required to wear masks at American Family Field. Officials say they won't be checking for proof, but they ask those who are not vaccinated to follow CDC guidance and wear a mask. For kids who are not old enough to get vaccinated, Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said that's up to families to decide if they want their kids to wear a mask.
"I think parents need to measure their own risk," Johnson said. "But also recognizing that the disease prevalence in children is much lower than in adults."
The Brewers will host another pop-up clinic Thursday at Helfaer Field from 9:10 a.m. to 12 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Those who choose Pfizer will have to return in three weeks for a second dose.