Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson—who is fully vaccinated—and his wife, Jacqueline Jackson, have both been hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a statement on Aug. 21.
Jackson, 79, received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021 during a publicized event and urged others to get the vaccine as soon as possible. It isn’t clear if his wife, who is 77, also got the vaccine.
Both are being treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, according to a statement from Jackson’s nonprofit group, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. The organization didn’t provide an update on their status.
“There are no further updates at this time,” the statement said. “We will provide updates as they become available.”
Doctors, the group said, are “currently monitoring the condition of both” and added that “anyone who has been around either of them for the last five or six days should follow” guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) related to testing and social distancing.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Earlier this year, Jackson underwent surgery after being hospitalized for abdominal pain. In 2017, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder.
“Let us all pray for Rev. and Mrs. Jesse Jackson. They need our sincere and intense prayers. Prayer changes things!!!” MSNBC host Al Sharpton wrote on Twitter.
As Jackson was fully vaccinated, his hospitalization is sure to trigger more questions about the vaccines’ efficacy in light of new COVID-19 variants. Last week, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a news conference there is “concerning evidence” that mRNA vaccine protection is “waning” against the so-called Delta strain.
In one study published by the CDC and cited by Walensky, the efficacy against infection has plummeted to 53.1 percent for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. As a result, Walensky said that due to the waning effectiveness, the federal government is “planning for Americans to receive booster shots starting next month,” saying that their initiative is designed to “stay ahead of this virus.”