In a collaborative effort to promote vaccine equity, on March 2nd and March 24th VNA Health Care held first dose mass vaccination clinics at Cathedral of Grace/St. John AME Church, a historic Black church founded in 1862 in Aurora. VNA administered over 1400 first dose vaccinations over the course of the two events with subsequent second dose events planned.
Governor J.B Pritzker, Mayor Richard C. Irvin, DuPage and Kane County Health Departments Cathedral of Grace Pastor Hawkins and Theodia Gillespie, President and CEO of Quad County Urban League joined Linnea Windel, VNA President and CEO in speaking with the press and assembled guests, emphasizing getting the vaccine out to the Black community through events such as BlackVax. BlackVax was named by the coalition of Black churches, organizations, community advocates and elected officials in Aurora that united in February 2021 with the goal of making sure that the Black community has equitable access and awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kane, DuPage, Kendall, and Will Counties.
"One thing will make our community comfortable, is seeing others that look like us, speak with facts about the vaccine and take it ourselves," said Mayor C. Irvin.
According to Governor J.B. Prizker, "Even if everyone who wants the vaccine were to receive it, that wouldn't be enough for us to reach herd immunity, so it's important that we get the message out to those who are vaccine hesitant that vaccines are safe and they offer effective protection against serious COVID illness and death."
A special thank you goes out to the Cathedral of Grace staff and the volunteers who helped make this event a success.