DeKalb County officer explains why he finally got COVID-19 vaccination

DeKalb County officer explains why he finally got COVID-19 vaccination
DeKalb County officer Bethea. (Photo credit: Rashad Milligan for rolling out)

DeKalb County police officer Bethea, who preferred not to give his full name, received his first COVID-19 vaccine shot on April 6.

After he took the shot, he spoke to rolling out about why he waited so long to get the vaccine.

OK, officer. So you just got your first shot in April 2022 here in DeKalb County. What went into that decision?

Today, I decided that maybe I should just get the shot to protect my other family members and vulnerable members of the community, in my family. So in order for me to be around them, I need to get a vaccine.

It’s been over a year since the vaccine has been available to the general public. Why are you just getting it now as opposed to taking it earlier?

Seeing that it is having an adverse effect on the community out here [helped make the decision]. Actually working out here in the community, I see the effects that it’s having on not just the older community, but even people our age are getting sick. Maybe it’s not as bad because they don’t have underlying medical conditions, but it’s still affecting us.

To the people who have fatigue from sitting in the house and social distancing, what would be your message to them as someone who just got vaccinated?

Just get the vaccine, and you won’t have to sit in the house anymore. It’s simple.

There are a lot of people who don’t trust the vaccine. What went into you trusting it?

Seeing the effects that it had on other people … just to be honest, I wasn’t going to be the first one to do it.

People in my family got it, and their arm didn’t fall off. They’re not dead and they didn’t get COVID, so why not?

Why do you think Black people are so hesitant about taking the vaccine?

Because the government has a bad reputation with vaccines in our community. So I completely understand why folks are not receptive to the government giving out vaccines at a fast rate. For example, the Tuskegee experiment was something that a lot of people have in the back of their minds. You can’t forget about something like that, which is why I completely understand why people take the stance they do.

You can’t really fault people. Can you blame people for feeling like that? You can’t.

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