SSM Health hosts vaccine clinic for communities of color

MADISON, Wis. — SSM Health is partnering with organizations supporting Madison’s communities of color to make the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible.

SSM Health and volunteer vaccinators from The Sable Flames worked together to administer vaccines at the Urban League offices on South Park Street Tuesday.

The Sable Flames is an organization of African American firefighters in Dane County. Instead of operating ladders and water hoses, they picked up the needle to help vaccinate their community.  The group was making a return appearance Tuesday, having helped with a first-dose clinic May 25.

Firefighters like Brandon Jones say it’s important now more than ever to get the vaccine and protect yourself and others

“Although we’ve gotten this kinda strong hold on this disease, it’s not gone away so in order to prevent another surge and ultimately another lockdown let’s do our part and get vaccinated,” said Jones. 

The vaccine has been available to the public for months now. But people of color are still having trouble accessing the vaccine.

“Were trying to remove all the barriers that we can, all the deterrents by going into the community and focusing on the population,” said healthcare nurse manager Jenny Bothun.

Kevin Rose received his second dose Tuesday, something he never thought would happen.

“At first I was skeptical about it. At first I wasn’t going to do it,” said Rose.

The clinic at the Urban League offices was a day for Jones and others to represent their community while making sure people feel safe and educated getting the vaccine.

“It’s really good to come down here and look like the demographic that’s coming in here and advocating for the vaccine and let them know this is safe and it’s something they should get,” said Jones. “It could help save lives.”

Public Health Madison Dane County is hosting more pop-up vaccine clinics in the community this month. You can find those on their website.