Mobile clinics target hesitant populations as Beloit falls further behind in vaccination efforts

BELOIT, Wis. – As cases of COVID-19 and rise throughout the state of Wisconsin, mobile clinics are targeting some of the state’s most vaccine hesitant communities.

On Saturday, those efforts landed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in the City of Beloit.

When we as a church started looking at the numbers coming out of Beloit as far as vaccination rates, we became concerned,” said Reverend Jason Poole-Xiong. “The question becomes, what can we do?”

While Rock County has vaccinated more than 60 percent of eligible adults, the city of Beloit has only reached roughly a 40 percent rate. In the neighborhoods surrounding Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, the rate is closer to 30 percent.

For us, it’s about our neighbor. It’s about serving our community,” he said. “It’s about being conscious of our neighbor.”

In partnership with SSM Health, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church sent out close to 600 postcards, in both English and Spanish, advertising Saturday’s event. Over the event’s four hour duration, nine people were vaccinated.

That’s nine people that weren’t vaccinated before today, so we take that as a total victory,” Poole-Xiong said. 

For Travis Phillips, the FDA’s full approval of Pfizer’s Coronavirus Vaccine was the necessary push to get the shot.

The FDA approval definitely helped me change my mind towards this, but I was still hesitant,” Phillips said. “I don’t even know if I would have been in the door to do this today if it wasn’t for my wife.”

Phillips says his main concerns surrounded on the level of testing done on the vaccines. While he originally intended only on accompanying his wife Lisa, he changed his mind when entering the church.

I just thought it would be safer for myself and for my family and for my community if I were to do this,” he said. “Even though I had such strong reservations, and I think part of me still does, but the bigger picture for me was the safety for myself and my family. That’s what brought me here today.”

We’ve been married 35 years,” Lisa Phillips said. “So I kind of want to be around a couple more with him.”

Lisa Phillips says her underlying conditions were her reason for getting the shot, but added she had help out until getting approval from her doctor. 

The husband and wife say the spread of the Delta Variant in Rock County is another concern. 

If anyone out there is hesitant about taking the shot, I totally understand,” Travis Phillips said. “I still was today when I walked in here. I just don’t think too many people are willing to take a chance the second time around. It seems like we’re going to go through a second bout of this (pandemic).”