First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci visited the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church on Sunday (June 7) which is serving as a vaccination site in Harlem. The trio watched as residents made their way to the basement of the landmark church to receive their doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The church, like many around the country, are serving as vaccination sites to help bolster vaccine rates among Black communities. Lack of access to the vaccine, experts determined, contributed to a lag in vaccination rates among Black Americans, prompting officials to call on community institutions to provide shots, education, and resources to those in need.
"Thank you all for coming, because this is how we get the word out" Dr. Biden said to the people at the site. "We want everyone 12 and over to come get vaccinated. We're really working hard because we have to get vaccinated to get back to life as normal."
“I think it’s important for Dr. Biden, First Lady and Dr. Fauci, come to emphasize the importance, especially in the Black and brown community of the church in being the first line of defense against COVID-19,” Abyssinian Pastor Rev. Calvin Butts told ABC 7. “We have been extremely successful in the pandemic,” he added. The church opened as a vaccination site back in January and reportedly vaccinated more than 12,000 people and tested over 600,000 people.
With the approval for the vaccine being granted to people 12 years old and older, the vaccine push continues ahead of the summer and new school year in the fall.
Photo: Getty Images