Message from our National President & CEO, Harold P. Wimmer

12/15/20

As I’m writing this today, Americans are now taking the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s a historic moment, and one that offers a glimmer of hope and a potential end to the pandemic. 

Sadly, this week the death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 300,000 American lives. As the coronavirus continues to spread, we need continued vigilance as well as universal acceptance of the vaccine in every community in order to save lives. Only through widespread vaccination will we be able to achieve the herd immunity needed to stop the spread of the virus, save lives and protect those most vulnerable among us, such as older Americans, those living with a lung disease and communities disproportionately impacted by the disease. 

While the virus does not discriminate against whom it infects, the pandemic has shined a spotlight on the health disparities impacting our most underserved populations. Reports and studies from across the nation show the coronavirus is disproportionately infecting and killing Black, Latino, Alaska Native and American Indian people. To address this devastating impact, we must ensure equitable vaccine distribution and support for the communities hardest hit.

To encourage public health measures to reduce the spread of the virus and widespread adoption of a safe and effective vaccine, the American Lung Association took action to launch the COVID-19 Action Initiative, a $25 million investment to end the pandemic and decrease health disparities in underserved communities. Through the Initiative, we are advocating for equitable distribution of the vaccine and encouraging Americans to speak with their healthcare providers about getting vaccinated when it becomes available. 

As the nation’s trusted champion of lung health, the American Lung Association is here with science- and fact-based information resources on the pandemic and how you can protect your health:

  • To learn more about the vaccine and when it might be available to you, I encourage you to visit our new Vaccine Tracker at Lung.org/vaccine-tracker as well as our vaccine safety page, which answers your most asked questions. 
  • And during these times of uncertainty, you can access daily updates, news articles and fact-based information to protect yourself and your loved ones at Lung.org/covid19
  • Access our COVID-19 Town Hall series to hear directly from the experts
  • You can also help us share these resources by following us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter
  • In addition, our Lung HelpLine is available at no charge for one-on-one support for your COVID-19 and lung health questions. Call 1-800-LUNGUSA or submit a question online.

Thank you for your support and wishing you good health and a swift end the pandemic.

Harold Wimmer
President and CEO
 American Lung Association

Page last updated: December 15, 2020

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