“This Is Our Shot” campaign aims to promote COVID-19 vaccination, address vaccine hesitancy, and acknowledge the disproportionately higher infection rates among Black communities.
Walgreens has teamed up with John Legend on its “This Is Our Shot” campaign to address vaccine hesitancy and encourage COVID-19 vaccination.
In a video interview published by Walgreens, John Legend and Stephen Fadowole, Walgreens pharmacy manager in Chicago, Illinois, discussed the reputable and trustworthy work that has gone into producing the vaccines, the ways that the virus is revealing structural racism in our society, and how to responsibly address vaccine hesitancy.
“I’ve just been watching what’s been going on in the nation and around the world as so many communities…have been disrupted by this virus and all the precautions we had to take to avoid getting it,” Legend told Fadowole. “And now that the scientists have done such quick and powerful work in experimenting and developing these vaccines…and I want to make sure as many people take advantage of this opportunity as possible because that’s the ticket to us getting back together.”
Legend and Fadowole also discussed the disproportionate COVID-19 infection rates in the Black community, touching on the history of structural racism in the United States and the real ramifications of leaving it unchecked. “A lot of it’s built into the way our communities have experienced racism for years, whether it’s environmental racism, housing segregation, and actually being treated differently when they visit health care providers,” Legend explained. “We were already vulnerable to any kind of health condition, but particularly this virus, which preys on people that have a preexisting condition,” he added. Legend also spoke with Fadowole about how Black and Brown individuals were more likely to have jobs deemed essential during the pandemic and didn’t have the opportunity to work from home and shelter in place.
“Because of that, our community is most in need of an intervention like the vaccines because prevention is going to be the most important way of stopping this virus [from] spreading,” Legend said. Fadowole added that a history of harm from medical professionals inflicted on Black people, such as the syphilis study at Tuskegee, has generated mistrust of physicians among Black and Brown populations.
For those who may be hesitant about receiving the vaccine, Legend recommends doing quality research. “Scientists do a lot of work and…a lot of experimentation, and because of the regulatory process in America, they have to document what happens when they test the vaccine on people,” he said. Individuals who may be still harboring hesitancy should ask a pharmacist or other health care professional, Legend said. “Not somebody you meet on Facebook or who’s making a random YouTube video.”
“I’m so grateful for all the work…all the pharmacists and health care providers around the nation are doing to make sure that we get as many people vaccinated as possible so we can get back together,” Legend said.
You can watch John Legend’s interviews here.