December 21, 2020

Duckworth, Underwood, García, Kelly Receive COVID-19 Vaccine, Encourage Communities of Color to Receive the Vaccine When it is Available


[WASHINGTON, DC] – After receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine over the weekend, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL-04) and Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) urged communities of color to receive the vaccine when it is available to them. The members also released a video discussing the importance of trusting the science and getting vaccinated.

“With full confidence in the science and at the direction of the Attending Physician of the Capitol for continuity of government operations requirements, I received my first dose of the Pfizer vaccination over the weekend,” Duckworth said. “I urge everyone in Illinois to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to them, especially communities of color that have been dying at disproportionate rates from this virus and have understandable hesitations when it comes to trusting the safety of this vaccine and our medical system. I’ll continue working alongside my colleagues to increase awareness of this safe, effective vaccine so that we can protect our fellow Americans and end this deadly pandemic.”

“The COVID-19 vaccine is our best way to save lives and get the virus under control,” said Underwood. “Members of Congress were offered the vaccine under continuity of government protocol starting last week. I was vaccinated at that time. I know there is some reluctance to be vaccinated, but I’m encouraging everyone I know, including my parents and friends, to get the vaccine when it is available to them. Vaccines are safe and they work!”

“Latino, Black, Indigenous, and Asian American communities suffer from the highest rates of coronavirus infections and deaths. It is critical we make sure our communities know the COVID vaccine is safe, effective, and will save lives,” García said. “Under the direction of the Capitol Physician I was vaccinated, and I urge everyone to get it as soon as they are able. I’m working to ensure the vaccine is widely accessible, free, and equitably distributed as soon as possible.”

“It is vitally important that our communities of color be equipped with facts to dispel mistrust of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Kelly said. “Our communities have been hit especially hard and the only way to save more lives is for us to take the vaccine. This is not the time to listen to conspiracy theories and give in to fear of the healthcare system. I believe in science and know the importance of preventing more Black Illinoisans from losing their lives to this devastating disease. We must trust the tireless work of scientists and doctors around the world who worked day and night to ensure that we can get back to business as usual.”

Duckworth has recently held virtual roundtables with Black and Latinx community leaders to discuss the disproportionate public health impact of COVID-19 on people of color as well as plans to equitably distribute a safe vaccine to these communities in Chicago and across Illinois. Duckworth and the community leaders also discussed addressing medical racism, educational outreach and cultural sensitivity so these Illinoisans can feel reassured of the safety of the vaccination.