I’m proud of the Milwaukee Bucks for winning their game against the Hornets yesterday, and I’m also really proud of them for setting up a mobile COVID-19 vaccination site for their next home game. On Sunday, any fan in attendance can get their first dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine through a partnership with the Milwaukee Health Department.
Game attendance is capped at 3,266 people, and the arena’s general manager Dennis Williams told The Washington Post that the organization hopes to vaccinate at least a few hundred people. Facility employees will be able to get a shot as well.
“It was important to try to capture as many people as possible,” Williams said, “and what better way than a Bucks game that sees 600 to 800 employees on top of the 3,266 who will be here on Sunday as well?”
Setting aside the initial decision to allow fans in an indoor arena at all without requiring that they be vaccinated first (fun police alert: it is still unfortunately a pandemic! Sorry!) — this is great. The New Orleans Pelicans are hosting vaccination events at games as well, so I’m also proud of them.
The pace of vaccinations in the Untied States is starting to slow down now that almost all of the people most eager to be vaccinated have gotten their shots. The next phase of the campaign is harder: reaching people who may want to be vaccinated but aren’t actively seeking it out. Getting that group vaccinated will take new tactics and will mean giving people as many easy opportunities to roll up their sleeves as possible. That includes opening up walk-in appointments at pharmacies, making vaccines available at doctors’ offices, and putting mobile clinics at places where people spend their time — including sporting events.
I hope to be offered a vaccine over the next few months more often than I’m offered random advertisement fliers on the streets of New York. Make a shot the new giveaway at every sporting event — save the bobbleheads for next season. Or put a Band-Aid on the bobbleheads and hand them out, too, if that seems more fun. Just give people as many places and ways to get vaccinated as possible.