News 3 Vaccine Day to bring vaccines into community

MADISON, Wis. – News 3 Now is partnering with SSM Health to host a pair of COVID-19 vaccination events Thursday, aiming to eliminate barriers for people to get the shot.

“The last 20, 30% are going to be the hard-to-reach people, the people that are hesitant or have barriers like transportation,” said Jenny Bothun, the regional manager for employee health at SSM Health. “I’m excited that going out into to the communities, kind of meeting them where they live, is just an opportunity to grab people that may be those hard 20-30%.”

“Really, (we plan to) just reach people that have a hard time getting to clinics, have a hard time getting their vaccine. It’s really important to us to get out in the community and offer the vaccine and really get over some of those barriers,” said Michelle Schmitt, the pharmacy business manager for SSM.

She and Bothun spent Wednesday bringing supplies and preparing for Thursday’s Vaccine Day, where Pfizer and a limited supply of Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available to people 12 and older.

“They’re happy occasions,” Schmitt said. “People have fun. Every time we have somebody take a selfie of getting vaccinations, people are excited and thankful.”

They’ll be getting vaccine out, but also information.

“We end up by default answering a lot of questions, even from folks who are hesitant,” Bothun said. “Even if you don’t want a vaccine but want more information about what it is like, come show up.”

The events run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at two locations: the News 3 Now station parking lot at 7025 Raymond Road in Madison, along with William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park at 4330 Libby Rd in Madison. More information can be found here.