LEXINGTON, Ky. — Officials in central Kentucky kicked off a public awareness campaign Friday to educate and encourage citizens to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

It took place at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s vaccination clinic at Consolidated Baptist Church.

“I did it for my family, I did it for my friends and I of course did it for my church so we can all come back together and I want to encourage you, ‘Lex Do This’,” said Mario Radford, pastor at Growth Point Church.

Radford is banding together with other pastors and ministers to encourage Kentuckians to get the vaccine, hoping those who might be more reluctant to change their mind.

“I believe there are people hesitant for various reasons, misinformation. Not really knowing enough about it but I think the hesitations are going down a lot more now that we’re seeing more of our family and friends doing it,” Radford said.

Curbing that hesitation is one of the focuses of the new COVID-19 vaccine awareness campaign named 'Lex Do This.'

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton hopes giving a shot in the arm to faith leaders will be an inspiration to their congregations and help build confidence in the vaccine.

“The vaccine is the best tool we have in our tool box to fight COVID-19. It’s a clear message ‘Lex Do This’ so we can return to our schools, our jobs, our congregations, our families and our friends' gatherings,” Gorton said.

Gov. Andy Beshear also attended the launch to offer support to faith leaders for participating. 

“Without your work, without you tending to your flock, we would have lost many more people. So while a lot of people try to give me credit for that this is an us. Thank you for your leadership at a time when maybe it’s never ever been more important and each and everyone of you has risen to that challenge,” Beshear said.

Beshear touched on the importance of vaccinating underserved and black communities. He said the COVID-19 virus has disproportionately killed the Black American population at twice the rate.

“These inequities, racial discrimination have existed for hundreds of years. That we set the right example in how we roll out this vaccine. That at this historic time we don’t continue a trend of wrong but instead we do things right,” Beshear said.

The campaign is funded through the Blue Grass Community Foundation. Approximately 20 faith leaders received a COVID-19 vaccine.