John Legend Says Vaccines 'Instill Hope' For Progress in Pandemic: 'We Can Get Back Together Again'
"This is our opportunity to connect with each other, hug each other again without fear," the singer tells PEOPLE
"I am so encouraged by the availability of the vaccine as a way of preventing the spread of this virus that has wreaked so much devastation and destruction around the world," says Legend, 42. "Walgreens has [vaccines] available. They're ready to take people to sign up, and I want to spread the word because the virus has separated us way more than we ever wanted to be. This is our shot of getting out of this situation .. .getting to immunity for ourselves and our families and our community so that we can get back together again."
While CNN reported Sunday that 95 million Americans were fully vaccinated, there are those who remain skeptical of receiving a vaccination. Legend says that through lending his voice and leading by example, he hopes that the campaign with Walgreens will prompt others to talk to their doctors and pharmacists about getting vaccinated.
"Hopefully, we're able to spread the message through all forms of media so that people take a moment to think about it, and hopefully what it will do is encourage them to talk to experts," says Legend. "I'm not an expert. I'm just an ordinary citizen who's taking the vaccine myself, but I'm someone they know. Hopefully I can encourage them to go talk to their pharmacist or go talk to their doctor. The consensus of the entire medical community is how important these vaccines are for getting back to normal, to stopping the spread of the virus, and the science and the results of the testing are abundantly clear."
He adds, "All these vaccines that have been approved are effective, safe, and they represent a tiny, tiny risk. If you compare that to the risk of actually contracting the virus, the risk to yourself and the rest of your family, it's clear that getting the vaccine is the right decision."
The Voice coach shares that in his own life, older relatives in his family have died after contracting the coronavirus and is doing what he can to make sure everyone else in his family gets vaccinated.
"I've talked to my older relatives because we've lost family members to COVID," says Legend. "I want to protect my parents. I want to protect my father and mother-in-law as well. I want to make sure that they're able to connect with their grandkids without fearing that one of them is going to get sick and this is our opportunity to do that. It instills so much hope in me that we're able to get to this place, that our scientists work so hard and so quickly developing the vaccines that are changing people's lives."
Over the past year within isolation at home, the singer also shares that he's had to balance work while taking care of his two young children, 4-year-old daughter Luna and 2-year-old son Miles.
"Most of what we've gotten from this time is really a lot more family time," says Legend on taking care of his kids with wife Chrissy Teigen during quarantine. "We're enjoying watching the kids grow up and really seeing their personality blossom."
He says he's grateful for the family time as it has brought them closer together while going through a personally difficult time. Last fall, Legend and Teigen revealed devastating news that they had lost their third child, a son named Jack, at 20 weeks of pregnancy.
"We've been through tragedy this past year as a family," says Legend. "And I feel like our relationship is stronger for it. I feel like a lot of the silver lining for us as a family is becoming closer and stronger through the challenges that we face as a family."
As they go through healing, Legend says in 2021 that both he and Teigen have been getting back into their creative flow again with a shared office studio. While she works on her cookbook, he's been diving into creating new musical projects.
"I love getting into the studio to write, I've been doing it like three or four days a week for the past couple of months," says Legend. "I've been so prolific and creative during this period, and it's so exciting, and sooner or later we'll kind of tie it all together into an album or two. I think we have enough for two or three albums now, but we will see which songs kind of rise to the top for me and how I want to put it out. It's so fun, just being able to create. I feel so fortunate that this is my job."
While the 12-time Grammy winner is getting back into the zone, he is more than ready to be getting off of Zoom! He shares that he's most looking forward to celebrating Christmas with his family in person, rather than the virtual Zoom session they had to do in 2020.
"There's something special about physically connecting with people," says Legend. "We took it for granted until it was taken away, but it's important that we connect again, and so many people miss that. And that's why I'm so excited about the prospect of everyone getting vaccinated, this is really our ticket to getting back together. It would be so great for the country and for the world if as many people as possible get vaccinated."
The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDC, WHO, and their local public health department as resources.
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This story originally appeared on people.com