Chicago based civil rights leader Jesse L Jackson invited reporters and photographers from around the world (including this office) to come to Chicago to witness his getting a needle in his arm. Normally watching a person receive an injection is neither fun or newsworthy, however, this past weekend’s presser was a joyful kick-off an awareness campaign to get people of colour, be they in the US or Canada, to be vaccinated.
"We need to ensure eradicating this horrible virus from our lives and move on to our new normal," said Rev. Jackson. "COVID-19 is surging across our country and the world. People of colour are the most affected by this pandemic, not just health-wise, but economically."
Jackson was administered a dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine and showed no ill-effects during the presser. Right after this picture was taken, he used a popular hash tag to let the world know he just #Gotit!
"There is so much skepticism (about the vaccine)," continued the civil rights leader. His goal is to tell people of colour, those with compromised immune systems and the elderly that the inoculations of the vaccine are safe, and it will help save lives especially in Chicago communities.
“Right now, there is a lack of trust in medical establishments,” said spokesman from the hospital. “The hope is that seeing an influential figure such as Rev. Jackson receive the vaccine will positively influence the (Black) community to follow suit.”
"The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted existing disparities in our nation and specifically in the Black community resulting in a hospitalization rate 3.7 times greater and a death rate 2.8 times greater than that of the White community, said Rev. Jackson. “We need to have the vaccines administered to people of colour as soon as possible before the death rate rises to catastrophic proportions.”
Here in Canada the statistics are not as bleak as in the United States, however there is a growing concern that Black Canadians are contacting the virus at a high rate.
Late last year the African-Canadian Civic Engagement Council (ACCEC), released a study exploring the perceptions of Black Canadians regarding the direct health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canada’s Black Community.
It found that compared to the Canadian average, Black Canadians report far worse health outcomes related to COVID-19. They are more likely to report symptoms, say they sought treatment and nearly three times as likely to report knowing someone who has died of the virus.
According to a current CBC news report, “Black people and other people of colour make up 83% of reported COVID-19 cases in Toronto. Black people and other people of colour make up 83 per cent of reported COVID-19 cases in Toronto, while only making up half of the city's population”
Toronto Public Health said in a statement that “data continues to show that Indigenous, Black and other marginalized groups are most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
A closer look at today’s Ontario’s COVID-19 numbers Toronto continues to lead the province in new cases, with 2,961 cases. Peel is reporting 536 new cases, and York has 219 cases. There were 74 new deaths. 72 of them were in people 60 and older. Two were in the 40-59 age group.
There are 29,636 people currently infected with COVID-19 in the province. Today is the second day in a row new cases have been below 3,000 and today’s numbers are well below the seven-day average coming into today, of 3,523.