With the number of COVID-19 cases locally on the increase, Public Health Madison & Dane County has been partnering with local Hmong community leaders on a series of recurring mobile vaccination clinics, specifically focusing on two Madison-area Hmong grocery stores, throughout the month of September.
“It’s important to continue to keep getting folks vaccinated with the Delta Variant and the number of COVID-19 cases on the increase, and we wanted to make sure that folks have access to the vaccine and make sure we can answer any questions they have about the vaccine,” Peng Her, CEO of The Hmong Institute, tells Madison365. “We are partnering with Public Health Madison & Dane County, so there will be nurses who will be able to answer any questions they might have.
“I think a lot of folks who wanted the vaccine got it right away but there are folks who are a little on the fence and still waiting … we want to let them know that it is safe and that they should get it so they can be safe and protected,” Her adds. “As a community, if we are all vaccinated, it will allow us to go back to doing things that we really enjoyed doing.”
Public Health Madison & Dane County staff, as well as translators, will be on hand at Hmong grocery stores to provide information about vaccines and answer questions, as well as administer vaccines. The next vaccination event will be this Friday, Sept. 17 at Hmoob Oriental Market, 1197 N Sherman Ave.
On Wednesdays throughout September, the Hmong Legacy Market, 2119 Fish Hatchery Road, will host the vaccination clinics.
“We partnered with Public Health because we want to give people who don’t have transportation an opportunity to get vaccinated,” said Ze Yang, from Hmong Legacy Market, in a statement. “Some of our daily customers walk to the store and by having a clinic on-site they could get vaccinated.”
Peng says that he felt it was important to partner with Hmong grocery stores.
“Honestly, if you’re going home after work and need to stop and pick up groceries or go to the deli, now you have no excuse — we have nurses there and public health there — to get your vaccine shot,” Her says. “The nice thing is we have all three shots available.”
No appointment, identification or insurance is needed to get the shot, Her adds. Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are all available, while supplies last. You can either receive your first or second dose of the vaccine.
The schedule for the vaccination clinics are as follows:
- Wednesdays: Hmong Legacy Market, 2119 Fish Hatchery Road, Madison (9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29)
- Fridays: Hmoob Oriental Market, 1197 N Sherman Ave., Madison (9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/1)
“The grocery store is a trusted place to go to. It’s people you know and people you shop with regularly. You probably stop there on the way home anyway,” Her says. “That’s why we picked these two places – one on the north side and one on the south side.
“And a lot of folks who go to Hmong grocery stores aren’t just Hmong. There are Latinos and other immigrant groups that go there because of the ethnic food they sell,” he adds. “We wanted to also provide the refugee and immigrant populations an opportunity to have access to the vaccine shots also.”
Her and The Hmong Institute have been busy hosting vaccination clinics throughout the year.
“We’ve probably administered 600-700 doses to 300-400 people that we’ve helped get vaccinated,” Her says. “It’s not necessarily about the number; it’s about making sure that communities like ours have access and have the ability to get it and not have any barriers whether it’s language or cultural or not knowing how to navigate the digital divide.”
Her notes that if people are able to come into the vaccination clinics soon, they can earn the $100 recently offered by Gov. Tony Evers. Wisconsinites who receive their first dose from Aug. 20 through Sept. 19 are eligible to receive the reward.
“There are so many great incentives to get the COVID shot,” Her says. “We are working hard to let people know about this opportunity.”