ATLANTA — Atlanta’s Mayor and Morehouse School of Medicine officials are working to reassure the public about Hank Aaron’s death, saying that it was not related to his recent COVID-19 vaccine.
“His passing was not related to the vaccine, nor did he experience any side effects from the immunization,” Morehouse School of Medicine said in a statement. “He passed away peacefully in his sleep.”
Aaron died on Friday at age 86 at his Atlanta home. The Braves also confirmed that he died in his sleep.
Aaron was vaccinated alongside more than 20 civil and human rights leaders including Andrew Young on Jan. 5.
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“Our team was honored to administer the Moderna COVID19 vaccine to Mr. Aaron and wife Billye Suber Aaron,” officials said in the statement. “Mr. Aaron was a public health advocate and worked with us to help bridge the health equity gap in Atlanta and around the world.”
Mayor Bottoms also addressed Aaron’s passing Saturday after a Twitter user asked about his cause of death.
“He passed in his sleep, the same way my dad died nearly 30 yrs ago,” Bottoms wrote. “I share that because the vaccine won’t stop ALL death, but it will go a long way in preventing deaths from coronavirus, which is disproportionately impacting minority communities.”
Public health officials have worried that a long history of racial health care disparities and even research abuses among communities of color have made those populations more wary of vaccines.
Funeral plans for Aaron have not been announced yet.
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