“We’re just trying to do our part in helping the community be healthier. I think it’s critically important that we continue to work together,” says Aaron Perry, the founder of Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association. “I really enjoy having the three barbershops and partnering with Public Health [Madison & Dane County] on this. We all are working really well together.”
The Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association, in collaboration with JP Hair Design and Public Health Madison & Dane County, will provide vaccines for kids, teens and adults this Saturday, Jan. 8, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Men’s Health and Wellness Center inside of JP Hair Design, the largest Black barbershop in Madison.
“This clinic will be for everybody. We’ll start with the five-year-olds all the way up to 90-year-olds. If people are not vaccinated, they can come and get vaccinated. We will have the three vaccines available for people,” Perry says.
“We’ve already completed about six vaccine clinics. We took a little break for the holidays but now we’re starting back up for the new year,” he adds.
The COVID-19 vaccine partnerships with local Black barbershops started last April. The vaccine clinics are back at the beginning of 2022 at a crucial time – right when America is seeing an unprecedented spike in Covid-19 cases fueled by the fast-moving Omicron variant that has been crushing hospitals and clinics across the United States.
“It’s our goal that we want to host these either every Saturday moving forward,” Perry says. “We’ll still be rotating from JP Hair Design, Resilient Hair Design and B. Right Barbershop in Sun Prairie.”
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has authorized a third “booster” shot for 12-15-year-olds, giving them an extra dose of protection as they return to school amid a surge of infections across the U.S.
“We will be offering the booster shot, too,” Perry says. “It’s important that people get the booster, too. If they have had two shots already and are just coming for the booster, I am honoring the voucher for that.”
Perry’s Men’s Health and Wellness Center is a new innovative health model for reducing health disparities that work with businesses, corporations, community-based organizations, health educators and the faith community to create an awareness of the major health concerns affecting African Americans and to actively promote a healthier lifestyle.
“We are doing our best to get people the COVID information and the vaccines that we need in the African American community,” Perry says. “I’ve noticed that people have been a little lax on the wearing of the masks. People are coming into a barbershop sometimes forgetting their masks. So it’s critically important that we continue to make masks available because I do see a little lax in wearing them, but they will wear them if you have them on site.
“I have requested more masks so that we can make them available for all of the barbershops,” he adds.
The ongoing Kids Kickin’ Covid campaign is looking to set up 250 kids who get the COVID-19 vaccine with a voucher worth up to $100. The vouchers are given to kids/teens who complete their second dose or receive a booster.
“That’s a goal that we have set for the year. We want to vaccinate 250 kids,” Perry says. “We got some funding from Dean Health Plan, and for our bigger vaccine clinics for teens and adults, we got a grant from DHS [Department of Health Services].
“It’s always been our plan from the beginning to start vaccinating the babies – from five to 11 we are offering the vaccines for the kids,” he adds. “They can come over and get the first dose from us and we’ll schedule them for that second dose either at our place or we’ll find a place where they can go and get it done.”
The Men’s Health and Wellness Center is located right next to JP Hair Design, 588 Grand Canyon Dr., on Madison’s west side.
“Show up between 10 a.m.-3 p.m. There will be no long lines. They can come in and get vaccinated right away. For those kids receiving their boosters, we will honor the $100 voucher,” Perry says.