Entertainers, Black church leaders and medical professionals are coming together to address continued hesitancy around COVID-19 vaccines. Live-streaming safely from Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in the D.C. metro area, comedian and writer KevOnStage will moderate “We May Be Laughing…But This is Serious.”
The event is also part of a larger effort by the Ad Council and the COVID Collaborative time raise greater awareness about the virus and the vaccine.
“Humor has a way of helping people through trying times, and so we are thrilled to partner with Ad Council’s COVID Collaborative for this hour of comedy to bring a little laughter to get us through a tough conversation about the pandemic’s disproportionate hit on the Black community,” said Kris Lathan from Walgreens’ COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Initiative.
The event with KevOnStage comes at a time when so many professional athletes and rappers refuse to take a public stand on the vaccines or challenge public health misinformation. A popular comedian, content creator, and influencer, KevOnStage leads a packed conversation with laughter and good information, including author and theologian Candice Benbow, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, and fellow comedian NotKarltonBanks.
In an Instagram post, KevOnStage called the event a “funny, poignant and powerful conversation on Black people and the COVID-19 vaccines.” The event will stream live Saturday, Oct. 2nd at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on his Facebook page.
Nunez-Smith leads the Biden-Harris administration’s Covid-19 Health Equity Taskforce and has been driving home the importance of preventative measures like vaccination even before the delta variant began its surge earlier this summer. She previously told NewsOne that vaccination remains one of the most important ways to prevent severe illness, death, or hospitalization due to COVID-19.
“The reality is unvaccinated people are at risk,” Nunez-Smith bluntly stated. “Taking a gamble with COVID could land you, of course, in the hospital, or worse. But it also can leave you with a month, or even longer of debilitating symptoms, that make it hard for people to work or function and just not feeling well.”
After the event, a vaccination pop-up will be sponsored by Walgreens, providing free vaccinations to the community from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Walgreens previously partnered with the Ad Council and the COVID Collaborative on a vaccine education initiative to help raise awareness about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines. As a part of this commitment to vaccine equity, Walgreens has administered approximately 200,000 COVID-19 immunizations in partnership with over 650 local churches, civic groups and 100 national partners.