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Steelers Greats Franco Harris, Mel Blount Encourage Black Community To Get COVID-19 Vaccine

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Community leaders and Steelers legends are making their pitch for the Black community to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Video Transcript

KEN RICE: Local community leaders and some Steeler legends are pushing for people in the Black community to get the COVID vaccine, and they urge the use of a site right in the heart of the city's Hill District. Chris Hoffman found out today that site is being underused. Chris.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: Ken, the Central Baptist Church here on Wylie Avenue has the capacity to do about 250 shots a day. It's been doing these shots for the past couple of weeks. But the pastor here says they haven't been able to reach that full capacity quite yet. Black Political Empowerment Project president Tim Stevens is pushing for more African-Americans to roll up their sleeves just like Steelers legends Franco Harris and Mel Blount.

TIM STEVENS: We want to protect our families, our friends, and the community at large.

FRANCO HARRIS: The most important part of this game plan is to get vaccinated.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: The group is spreading their message outside the Central Baptist Church on Wylie Avenue. Reverend Victor Grigsby says more people need to take advantage of the clinic in his church. He says it's currently not reaching its full potential.

- But we're trying to get to 250, and we have been close to about 200 shots in one day. We are trying to increase the numbers.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: He says the average is about 100 people a day, far less than its full capacity.

TIM STEVENS: Let's not live in our fears. Let's live in our possibilities.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: Urban League president Esther Bush has a friend who says she lost two family members to COVID-19, and they refused to get a vaccination.

ESTHER BUSH: It is so critical that we do everything we can do to save a life.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: She knows her community has been victimized by the medical field in the past, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause may have people skeptical. But she has the faith that her shots will protect her.

ESTHER BUSH: I am not saying science is perfect. We know that it is not. But it is working.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: Their goal is to make sure you can enjoy more time with your family and friends.

FRANCO HARRIS: The most important part, though, is that you can be around them for years to come.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: So this clinic runs Monday through Friday, 1:00 to 6:00 in the evening. On Saturday, it's 8:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon. Now, an appointment is recommended, but we did see people that were walk-ins, and they were being accepted. Live in the Hill District this evening, Chris Hoffman, KDKA News.