Milwaukee leaders push for equal distribution of COVID vaccine in heavily impacted communities

Posted at 10:19 PM, Jan 18, 2021

MILWAUKEE — After seeing numbers from the Department of Health Services, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he's pushing to make sure the communities most impacted by COVID-19 have access to the vaccine when it’s ready.

Medical professionals are finally able to receive their COVID-19 vaccines at Hayat Pharmacy. After such a long wait, medical professionals like Goody Cacalare ready for it.

"It's just very, very exciting,” Cacal said.

The slow, careful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine continues is starting with medical professionals. However, Mayor Barrett says he's hoping to see more Black and Hispanic people vaccinated as time goes on.

"As we looked at the numbers last week, one thing jumped out at me. I don't feel we had the diversity that was necessary and reflected the City of Milwaukee's population,” Barrett said.

Cacal received his COVID-19 vaccine as he agreed with the mayor’s concern.

"It's a little frustrating because I've noticed a lot of people of color communities have been a bigger victim to this whole pandemic,” he said.

Dr. Dimmy Sokhal, of Hayat Pharmacy, says educating the community about the vaccine is key to leveling out the percentages.

"There's a lot of planning going on in terms of how to reach out to minority groups and make sure we're touching other groups,” Sokhal said.

Sokhal said diversity in the medical field also helps when it comes to helping potential patients find doctors they can trust.

"We have a lot of technicians that speak a lot of different languages. We have a lot of pharmacists that speak different languages so we are going to take a bigger leap into the community,” she said.

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