Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Urges Public To Get COVID-19 Vaccine

Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar urges the public to get the COVID-19 vaccine in a new PSA debuting during games played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The video shows Abdul-Jabbar receiving the vaccine and speaking to viewers.

“Because of the COVID-19 virus, we have had to learn new ways to be together. We have had to find new ways to communicate. We have to find new ways to play. And we have to find new ways to keep each other safe. For myself and my family, I’m going to take the COVID-19 vaccine.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that frontline healthcare workers, residents, and workers in long-term healthcare facilities, essential workers, those with underlying health conditions, and those 65 years and older receive priority for the vaccine.

The 73-year-old Abdul-Jabbar revealed in an article he wrote last December for WebMD that he had prostate cancer, leukemia, and heart bypass surgery.

In his article, the six-time MVP pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated this patient care discrepancy.

In predominantly Black counties, the infection rate is three times higher, and the death rate is six times higher than in predominantly white counties. Other marginalized people of color are also suffering: nationally, hospitalization rates are five times higher for Native Americans and African Americans and four times higher for Latinx. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released August 14, 2020, concluded that in 79 hot spot counties in the U.S. that had information about race, 96.2% showed racial disparity in COVID-19 cases.

The LA Forum, where the Hall of Famer won five titles as a Laker, will serve as a large-scale vaccination site starting Tuesday.