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Braves legend Hank Aaron, civil rights activist Andrew Young get COVID-19 vaccine in Atlanta

They hope to send a message to Black Americans in particular that the shots are safe.

ATLANTA — Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young and other civil rights leaders have gotten vaccinated against COVID-19.

They rolled up their sleeves on Tuesday at the Morehouse School of Medicine, where they hope to send a message to Black Americans in particular that the shots are safe.

The medical school was founded by former Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan, who also got his coronavirus shot Tuesday. 

An outsize percentage of polled Black Americans said they were hesitant about getting the vaccine. But Young says they shouldn’t worry — he says he’s been taking vaccines now for 88 years and hasn’t been sick. 

Credit: AP
Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron waits to receive his COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Aaron and others received their vaccinations in an effort to highlight the importance of getting vaccinated for Black Americans who might be hesitant to do so. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)

“As far back as I can remember I have taken vaccines - before I went to elementary school; before college and for my travels across 141 out of 195 countries. Vaccines have kept me safe for 88 years,” said Ambassador Young, who is also a former congressman and mayor of Atlanta. “After my time with the United Nations, I traveled all over Africa encouraging people to take the polio vaccine.  I’ve always been involved in the proliferation of vaccinations and preventive medicine and, by God’s grace, I’ve have never had a negative reaction.”  

Credit: AP
Andrew Young, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations receives his COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Young, baseball great Hank Aaron and others received their vaccinations in an effort to highlight the importance of getting vaccinated for Black Americans who might be hesitant to do so. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)

“Since our founding more than 45 years ago, Morehouse School of Medicine’s mission has been to improve health care in minority and underserved communities,” Sullivan said. “We have a specific obligation to do all we can to stop the spread of a disease that is taking a tremendous toll on the communities we have served for more than four decades.”

Aaron and his wife, Billye Suber Aaron contributed $3 million to the Morehouse School of Medicine in 2015 to support the construction of new campus pavilion.