John Legend encourages vaccinations for COVID-19
"If we get immunized as a community, as a nation, we can all start getting back together and enjoying each other again," John Legend exclusively tells theGrio
John Legend is encouraging Americans to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
The multi-hyphenate entertainer, who is an EGOT winner, has partnered with Walgreens for the “This Is Our Shot” campaign with a focus on reaching out to communities hit hardest by COVID-19. The 42-year-old singer has taken the Pfizer vaccine and exclusively tells theGrio how vaccinations can help return the world to some form of normalcy.
“I’ve done it myself and I’ve encouraged people around the country to do it. Some of my family members have already done it and we’re just trying to encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated,” Legend tells theGrio in a phone conversation.
“We’ve had a really difficult, difficult year, so many lives lost [and] personally like my own family. And it’s been a particularly devastating impact on Black and brown communities,” he continues. “And we want to encourage folks to get out there and get vaccinated because we know that our chance to getting back to some semblance of normal again is possible. Normal where we can get together in the way that we used to, or we could have concerts again, family reunions, and holiday gatherings without the fear of getting our relatives sick.”
theGrio asked Legend if he felt his advocacy for the vaccines would help diminish concerns that some in the Black community have.
“Well, that’s been the narrative for a while, and we saw SNL do a skit on, but the fact is when you look at the polling that Black people are not the most hesitant and when it comes to, in fact, the most hesitant are people that are watching Fox News and are conservative,” the Grammy winner responds.
“That’s the community that’s been fed this narrative of distrust of the vaccine more than anyone. And I think it’s really about encouraging Black and brown folks to know that the vaccines are available and they can sign up and that they have access to it and make sure they get in line.”
The “All of Me” singer did recognize that the Black community did have a historical hesitancy. However, the benefits of the vaccines far outweighed the downsides.
“Black people have definitely earned the right to be skeptical of the medical profession and to ask questions. But it’s become abundantly clear to me that the vaccines are effective and safe and that any minimal, tiny, tiny, infinitesimal risk that comes from the vaccine is much, much, much less than the risk that we’ve already seen play out of getting the virus itself,” he says.
Legend touches upon his own loss because of COVID-19 which has claimed 573,000 deaths in the United States to date, according to data.
“I’ve lost family members. Too many Black and brown folks have lost family members from this virus. These vaccines are offering us the opportunity to get past the hour of death and devastation. We’ve got to go out and take it.”
The pandemic naturally took its toll on everyone; for him, it was more ways than one. Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen also suffered the loss of their child, a son named Jack, during the pandemic.
“We lost a pregnancy during that time. So that was really difficult for me, my wife, and our family. So, part of what I learned was that, you know, how strong we are as a couple and how we have to rally around each other and take care of each other in a really difficult time,” he shares.
The Voice coach adds that the coronavirus and pandemic have brought people together despite the difficulties.
“When you think about the bigger lesson for society, this showed us how much we’re connected to each other. As much as, you know, everybody kind of doing their own thing and trying to pursue their own goals, this pandemic reminded us that we’re part of a community, we’re part of a society. And what we do impacts each other,” he declares.
“And if we want to get through it together, then we have to work together. We have to not just think about ourselves and our individual silos but think about our community and society. And that’s part of what vaccinations all about. It’s about developing a community, as a community, as a society, so that we can all feel safe together.”
Legend spoke to theGrio from his studio, where he teased new music. He sees better days on the horizon as the country continues its rigorous pace of vaccinations.
“I’m just excited that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, that if we get immunized as a community, as a nation, we can all start getting back together and enjoying each other again.”
Watch the “This Is Our Shot” PSA videos below.
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