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Rush To Host Panel Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy, Promoting Vaccines

April 20, 2021

24% of Black adults say they will "wait and see" about getting the vaccine

vaccine panel graphic

CHICAGO — This Thursday, April 22 at 6:00 PM CT, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) will host a virtual panel discussion with local public health experts to answer common questions and address concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines. In addition to representatives from the Illinois Department of Public Health, St. Bernard Hospital, and Friend Health, the panel will include a testimonial from an individual who has received the COVID-19 vaccine. Prior to convening the panel, Rush will tour Chicago State University's new mass vaccination site.

Starting today, all Illinois residents age 16+ are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. However, countering vaccine hesitancy remains a serious challenge. While there are encouraging signs that more Americans are becoming willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine, a recent poll released by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 13 percent of adults would "definitely not" get the vaccine, an additional 7 percent would get it "only if required," and 17 percent of adults would "wait and see" once the vaccine was available to them. 24 percent of Black adults said they would "wait and see," making them one of the most likely groups to give this response. Experts agree that in order to reach herd immunity, between 70 percent and 90 percent of the population must be vaccinated.

The panel discussion convened by Congressman Rush this coming Thursday evening will be moderated by Dr. George Smith, a public health faculty member of the College of Health Sciences at Chicago State University. The panel will be livestreamed on Congressman Rush's Facebook and YouTube pages.

Joining Congressman Rush and Dr. George Smith will be:

Dr. Amaal Tokars, Assistant Director, Illinois Department of Public Health
Dr. Daria Terrell, Director of Clinical Programming and Health Outcomes, St. Bernard Hospital
Julie-Ann Collins, Nurse Practitioner, Friend Health