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These civil rights icons received Covid-19 vaccine, and they’re encouraging Black America to do the same


Civil rights icons took part in a coronavirus vaccination event at a historically Black medical school in Georgia.

The event was held to encourage Black Americans to be immunized, Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine said in a news release.

Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, civil rights leader Xernona Clayton, Former Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan and baseball legend Hank Aaron all received Covid-19 vaccinations Tuesday.

Campaigns to encourage confidence in the vaccines against coronavirus have had to contend with America’s history of racism in medical research and a lack of trust in the federal government.

In December, a Kaiser study found that 35% of Black Americans would probably or definitely not get the vaccine even if it was determined to be safe by scientists — and widely available for free.

“Carolyn & I are proud to be among those to receive the COVID-19 vaccine this morning. African Americans have tested positive and died in disproportionate numbers, yet unfortunately polls find us to be among the groups most hesitant to get vaccinated,” Young tweeted.

“I was proud to get the COVID-19 vaccine earlier today at Morehouse School of Medicine. I hope you do the same!” Aaron tweeted.

The four iconic figures, their spouses, and other civil and human rights leaders, all of whom are over 75 years of age, are part of the designated Class 1A on the vaccination priority list. They all received the Moderna vaccine, the release said.

In addition to promoting personal safety protocols — washing your hands, watching your distance from others and wearing a mask — the leaders are hoping more Black people will participate in clinical trials and take federally-approved immunizations.

The event at Morehouse kicks off a community-based vaccine series that begins Saturday, January 9. The Morehouse School of Medicine will host drive-thru vaccinations each following Saturday in January from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m for patient-facing health care workers, some first responders, long-term care residents and Georgians 75 years or older.

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