Attorney General Kwame Raoul receives COVID-19 vaccine in effort to combat vaccine hesitancy

(WAND) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul received the COVID-19 vaccine Friday morning at Advocate Health Care’s Vaccine Clinic at Imani Village as part of his efforts to combat vaccine hesitancy.

After becoming eligible in Phase 1B+ of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine plan, the Attorney General received his vaccine.

Attorney General Raoul was joined by Advocate Trinity Hospital President Rashard Johnson, Trinity United Church of Christ Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, and Advocate Health Care emergency room physician Dr. Oyinkansola Okubanjo to highlight the importance of addressing the health care disparities and systemic bias that contribute to vaccine hesitancy.

"Black and Brown communities that have been hit harder by COVID-19 are the same communities that have experienced decades of health disparities, which have led to the distrust and vaccine hesitancy Advocate Health Care and Trinity United Church of Christ are partnering to overcome," Raoul said. "Overcoming vaccine hesitancy comes not by shaming people who distrust the vaccine, but by acknowledging that people have valid questions and providing facts from trusted sources. While I am not a doctor or scientist, I hope I can serve as a trusted voice that will help someone overcome their own hesitancy to receive a COVID vaccine."

"As we push forward in developing innovative, more effective methods for expanding the availability of quality health care on Chicago’s South Side, particularly to underserved Black and Brown communities, partnerships with local leaders and elected officials will be key to our success," says Rashard Johnson, President of Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago and Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest. "Attorney General Raoul’s leadership by example and his message to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available will prevent many at-risk people from contracting the virus and thereby help us save more lives."

Advocate Medical Group at Imani Village serves residents of Chicago’s south side, specializing in family medicine, preventative care, chronic care management, obstetrics, and gynecology.

"This is an important partnership that will allow us to continue fighting not only COVID-19, but also COVID 1619 – the systemic racism that has exacerbated the impact of the virus," Moss said.

Last month, Attorney General Raoul hosted "The COVID-19 Vaccine and You: Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy," a webinar to address vaccine hesitancy.

With the National Association of Black Journalists, the Attorney General moderated a panel of health care experts who answered commonly-asked vaccine questions, such as how the vaccine was developed, who should be vaccinated, and the possible side effects.

Attorney General Raoul convened the panel to address the hesitation and skepticism surrounding the vaccine and reassure residents that providers and public health leaders are working to ensure safe and equitable vaccine distribution.

Illinois public health officials oversee the vaccine’s distribution, and more than 4.3 million doses have been administered, representing approximately 28% of the state’s population that have received their first dose.


March 19, 2021 at 08:56PM

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