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'It Does Strengthen You': South Side Leaders Work To Get More People Vaccinated As Rev. Jesse Jackson Recovers From COVID

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Reverend Jesse Jackson who is vaccinated and his wife Jacqueline are still at Northwestern Memorial Hospital being treated for COVID-19.

CBS 2's Jim Williams has an update. According to a family spokesperson, Reverend Jackson is responding well to treatment at Northwestern Hospital. And as one South Side pastor offers his prayers for a speedy recovery, he's pressing ahead to get many more people in his community vaccinated, joining the hospital where Rev. Jackson got his shot.

When the Reverend Jesse Jackson got his first dose of the COVID vaccine in early January, he wanted a public demonstration, according to Doctor Kiran Chekka who administered the shot at Roseland Hospital.

"The reverend was real passionate about getting this out to his community and showing himself as a role model," Chekka said.

Hoping to persuade skeptical African Americans that the vaccine is safe and would help protect them against the coronavirus.

Still, here in Illinois, Rev. Jackson and his wife Jacqueline are among 1056 patients who have been hospitalized this year with the coronavirus, even though they've been vaccinated.

Some wonder how the so-called breakthrough cases could have happened.

"People are still going to get COVID, but the Reverend Jackson and everyone else who has gotten COVID after getting vaccinated had protection because of the vaccine and statistically speaking are going to do better because they are vaccinated."

"Vaccination does not exempt you from the COVID, but it does strengthen you."

That's been the Reverend Dr. David Bryant's pitch at the Allen Metropolitan CEM Church. Roseland Hospital has offered the vaccine on the church grounds every three weeks. Altogether, 800 shots. They're battling vaccine hesitancy in the Black community, he says, with education.

"We've been traumatized as a people and so our trust level has diminished tremendously, understandably so, but we can't live in the past. We have do deal with the present situation," Bryant said.

This weekend, Roseland Hospital and the church will again make the vaccine available, citing the Reverend Jesse Jackson as a role model.

"He was wise to move forward to get vaccinated and now we're praying that he will have enough strength and healing," Bryant said.

Roseland Hospital said they've given out nearly 30,000 shots.

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