APPLETON, Wis. – An Appleton pharmacist is hoping he can convince more people of color to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Jude Jean-Pierre owns RxLink University Pharmacy on College Avenue in Appleton. He’s hosting a week of free education and support events all week culminating in a free pop-up vaccine clinic on Saturday. His hope is to help the Black community and other minority communities receive greater access to the vaccine from a trusted source - a black owned business.

“Compared to their white counterparts, the Black community is generally at higher risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza, pneumonia, diabetes and HIV/AIDS,” Jean-Pierre said in a news release.

“There are pockets in our community who are not willing to yet welcome the idea of getting vaccinated,” he said Tuesday. “These are the new challenges that we are currently facing and we are addressing them with other members of our community to see how we can encourage them to come in.”

Events planned through Friday include:

  • Blood pressure screenings
  • A free review of current prescriptions and discussion regarding expiration dates, dosages, side effects, etc.
  • Meet with pharmacist Jude Jean-Pierre and get healthcare questions answered
  • Learn about COVID-19 vaccines and the latest on the new variants
  • Enjoy free gifts from RxLink Pharmacy with any transferred prescriptions

Jean-Pierre said his hope is a week of connecting with the Black community and other minority groups during the group will convince many to register for a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine to be administered between 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the pharmacy.

“As a minority pharmacist in the community, I’ve taken the vaccine, I’ve received the vaccine," he said. "It’s important for us to let them know that you can work with us in the community so that all of us are safe."

Pam Her is with the Multicultural Communications Committee. She said underlying goal of the program is to improve health equity. She said these pop up clinics bring the vaccine and other health services to people of color instead of forcing them to come to the help.

“It’s the ability to come in, to see someone that looks like you, to be able to ask the questions about what you fear, what’s unknown to you or what you don’t understand about vaccinations, just someone who speaks your language,” Her said.

Yer Vue said she believes it makes a difference. She’s a member of Appleton’s Hmong community. Knowing interpreters are on-site at the pop-up clinics eliminates one of many barriers that typically keep minority populations away from vaccine clinics. Vue said she was fully vaccinated and grateful for it.

“If you get vaccinated you get a lot of protection for yourself, for your friends, and for the people that are closer to you,” Vue said.

Appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine clinic are not necessary but appreciated and walk-ins are welcome. ID and health insurance is not required.

To register or to learn more information about the vaccine clinic, call (920) 204-6729 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday. For questions related to the RxLink Pharmacy education events and support, call (920) 202-3772.​