'It's nice they're offering this': Health officials offer vaccines at the Puerto Rican festival

Free tacos were offered as an incentive to get vaccinated
Puerto Rican Family Festival
Posted at 5:53 AM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 07:27:08-04

MILWAUKEE — Hundreds of people enjoyed the Puerto Rican Family Festival Sunday afternoon at Wilson Park.

"This is what we do. We connect, we dance, we break bread," event attendee Lucia Lozagalezewski said.

From the music to the lines of people waiting for food, people were happy to gather and enjoy the culture.

But, in the midst of all the fun health officials were front and center offering a vaccine to everyone. And, with COVID cases on the rise, they're meeting people where they are to ensure everyone has access to the vaccine.

Puerto Rican Family Festival
Puerto Rican flags on display at the festival.

"Our numbers have continued to climb probably since July. We're not in a good place in the city," said Kirsten Johnson, Milwaukee Public Health Commissioner

Johnson said offering vaccines at festivals and huge community gatherings is crucial.

Elijah Cruz came to the festival not expecting to get vaccinated but said he's grateful it was available for him to get his first shot.

"It's nice they're offering this thing," Cruz said. "People like me walking around will say 'let me get the vaccine.'"

He believes his family members will also get vaccinated after seeing him get the shot.

The Hispanic population in Milwaukee is only about 36% full vaccinated. Johnson said a door-knocking campaign started earlier this week to get that number up.

"We are moving in the right direction with our Latinx communities and we want to continue to get vaccines in arms.

As cases continue to rise Johnson said they are rushing to get more people in the city vaccinated.

"We are looking at incentives in the coming weeks to get people who haven't been vaccinated or who have barriers in," Johnson said.

Details about those incentives will be forthcoming.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip

Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

Latest news and headlines here.