LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Friday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear joined Louisville NAACP leaders to address vaccine hesitancy among Black Kentuckians. 


“After meeting and listening to community leaders, we have learned that Kentuckians want to see and hear from people trusted in their respective communities about why it’s important to take the COVID vaccine,” the governor said. “Today, we thank the NAACP for hosting this event that encourages Black Kentuckians to roll up their sleeves to take their shot of hope.”


Raoul Cunningham, president of the NAACP Louisville chapter, said he welcomed the opportunity to host the event with the Governor.


“African-Americans are infected with COVID-19 at nearly three times the rate of white Americans and are twice as likely to die from the virus,” Cunningham said. “The Louisville Branch NAACP encourages the entire community, especially our constituents, to get the vaccine. We are appreciative to the Governor for coming to our community to emphasize the importance of getting the vaccine, and we look forward to continuing to work with him to rid our community, city, state and nation of this god-awful virus.”


Early in the pandemic, Black and African-American Kentuckians were dying of COVID at twice the rate that they make up of the population.


However, Black Kentuckians only account for 4.6% of those vaccinated so far. The Governor is committed to addressing this inequity.


The event took place at the NAACP chapter’s West Louisville office and several people received vaccines from Norton Healthcare.


In addition to the now 410 vaccination locations across the commonwealth, the state has been working with provider partners like the Norton Healthcare to ensure location is not a barrier for those who want the vaccine.

Norton Healthcare has hosted several pop-up vaccination sites in local churches.


“These vaccines are safe. They are effective. They are saving lives. Please continue to do everything in your power to help us spread that message, so everyone can be protected,” Beshear said.