Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. received the first dose of the two-shot Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, hoping to set an example for people of color and older adults who may be hesitant to get vaccinated.
Jackson, 79, president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, got the shot Friday at Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago.
“We need to ensure eradicating this horrible virus from our lives and move on to our new normal,” he said, according to a Rainbow PUSH Coalition press release. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted existing disparities in our nation and specifically in the Black community resulting in a hospitalization rate 3.7 times greater and a death rate 2.8 times greater than that of the white community.”
Jackson was accompanied for his vaccine by Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, an immunologist at the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Health who was instrumental in developing the coronavirus vaccine.
“Right now, there is a lack of trust in medical establishments,” Corbett said, according to the release. “The hope is that seeing an influential figure such as Rev. Jackson receive the vaccine will positively influence the community to follow suit.”