Hank Aaron’s legacy tarnished by anti-vaccine advocates

On January 5th, baseball legend Hank Aaron publicly received the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia, partially as a way of inspiring the Black community to become vaccinated. He died seventeen days later in his sleep from natural causes. A coroner clarified that he did not have COVID-19 symptoms at the time of his death. Vaccine skeptics have falsely linked his death to the vaccine, claiming it is part of a wave of vaccine-related deaths among older adults across the world (which is not true). Anti-vaccine advocates are also framing his death as evidence that the Black community in the US is correct to be hesitant of COVID-19 vaccines, and should distrust any public health outreach to the Black community. Anti-vaxxers are capitalizing on a legendary American’s death and tarnishing one of his final heroic acts, to encourage vaccination, in order to cast him as an unwitting pawn of public health authorities.

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