As Chicago Pivots To Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy, Faith Leaders Pitch In

In a pandemic milestone in Chicago, coronavirus vaccine supply is now meeting demand. But vaccine hesitancy is also a problem, and faith leaders are stepping in to combat it. CBS 2's Marissa Parra reports.

Video Transcript

- We're in a new phase of the pandemic. Vaccine supply is finally meeting demand in Chicago. And faith leaders are pitching in to make sure everyone gets vaccinated despite the hesitancy some people feel. CBS 2's Marissa Parra is live from the United Center to explain, Marissa.

MARISSA PARRA: We'll take the United Center for example. Even a month ago, vaccination sites like this one would have decently long lines, now you do not even need an appointment to get a shot here and we're hardly seeing any lines at all. A pandemic milestone in Chicago.

ALLISON ARWADY: As of now, we have enough vaccine.

- Yeah.


MARISSA PARRA: Vaccine supply is now finally meeting demand. But now--

ALLISON ARWADY: Demand has really soften and leveled off.

MARISSA PARRA: Within the last week, there's been a market shift in tone across the board when it comes to vaccine appointments. Will County practically pleading people online to head to their vaccination clinic by Saturday, so they wouldn't have to throw out doses. And still showing plenty of open spots online the next day.

What are you seeing?

Dressed in his Sunday best, pastor Marvin Hunter tells us--

MARVIN HUNTER: I'm seeing that people have taken an absolute reverse in terms of their willingness to be vaccinated. Because of the mishap with the Johnson Johnson product.

MARISSA PARRA: It was like two steps forward, three steps back he says. In between leading worship, he has spent weeks leading conversations on vaccinations.

MARVIN HUNTER: So I'm saying to you, go and find a place to get this shot taken.

MARISSA PARRA: Recent studies show current vaccine hesitancy spans across racial groups with white conservative, evangelicals making a large percentage even prominent evangelical leaders like Franklin Graham urging people to get their shots. And for Pastor Hunter--

MARVIN HUNTER: I want to also say that I've taken a shot. My wife has taken a shot. And we are fine.

MARISSA PARRA: He says building trust and fighting vaccine hesitancy and misinformation is an all hands on deck kind of task.

MARVIN HUNTER: A lot of times sources of information comes sometimes directly from the past and is the only information that they get. Everyone that can help to eradicate this pandemic needs to help.

MARISSA PARRA: Roughly, half of the state and roughly half of the city have rolled up their sleeves to get a vaccine to reach Herd immunity. Experts project we need somewhere between 70% to 80% of a population to get vaccinated first. Working for you, live from the United Center, Marissa Parra. CBS 2 News.

- Marissa, thank you.