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COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project’s Statement on the Anniversary of the Authorization of the First COVID-19 Vaccines

December 13, 2021

To mark the milestone one-year anniversary of the authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., the conveners of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project shared the following statements.

“A year later, and with close to 500 million shots in arms, we’ve come a long way in the fight against COVID-19 thanks to the safety, efficacy and availability of the vaccines. With the recent authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11 and the expansion of boosters to anyone 16 and older, mothers can breathe a sigh of relief as protection from serious illness is available to more members of their family and loved ones. While this is a moment worth celebrating, we recognize there is still work to do to expand access and ensure everyone gets the facts about COVID-19 vaccines and roll up their sleeves to protect themselves, their families and our communities.”
Beth Battaglino, RN-C, CEO, HealthyWomen

“Authorization of the COVID-19 vaccines marked a critical milestone in our fight against the pandemic, especially for communities of color. COVID-19 has shined a light on the deep health care disparities that have existed in our country for decades, and vaccine rates still lag with African Americans of all ages. As someone who was initially skeptical of the vaccines’ rapid development, I asked questions, got the facts and got the vaccine. I’m pleased to share my personal journey to help educate our African American seniors about the rigorous safety and efficacy standards that have been met in the vaccine’s review and help address their concerns. We are beginning to turn the tide on this devastating pandemic, but there is more progress to be made.”
Karyne Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc.

“COVID-19 has taken a huge toll on our nation’s older adults. Many have found themselves among the most vulnerable and isolated during the pandemic, but the vaccines have literally been a life saver and represent the path back to a more normal life. Safe, effective vaccines not only provide protection from serious illness, but they have helped allow older Amercianss to experience the joy of meeting a new grandchild, attend graduations, and join family and friends for the holidays. This milestone marks a year of great progress and hope, but we know that more education and outreach is needed to encourage the unvaccinated to get the shot, to protect themselves and their families and fully realize the vaccines’ potential.”
Sue Peschin, President and CEO, Alliance for Aging Research

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