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Dallas County commissioner receives COVID-19 vaccine, encourages skeptics to get the shot

Commissioner John Wiley Price took a public stance Monday, urging residents across some of the most vulnerable minority communities to consider getting the vaccine.

DALLAS — Dallas County is now a couple months into administering COVID-19 vaccines. County leaders are still working to convince some of the area’s most vulnerable residents to get the shot.

Even with efforts underway to make access to the COVID-19 vaccine more equitable, District 3 Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price recognized there is still skepticism among minority communities.

”The shot was so fast, I didn’t even realize that she had done it,” Price said after receiving his first dose of the vaccine.

Price held a press conference, after taking the vaccine publicly on Monday, in an effort to encourage other community members to follow suit.

”They need to see that I’m right here with the herd,” Price explained.

The commissioner said concerns about the history of health care among certain communities are reasonable. 

Many skeptics point to the Tuskegee experiment when discussing their reservations about the COVID-19 vaccine, but Price said there is a lot of public misinformation about that study.

”What we need to understand is the federal government did not inject African American men with syphilis. They knew that African American men had syphilis, and they studied them. However, they withheld from them the inoculation to be able to deal with the disease. That’s not the case with COVID-19,” Price explained.

He believes the COVID-19 vaccine is an opportunity for people to be engaged.

There was a slow, but steady, stream of cars lining up in Southern Dallas for a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Ellis Davis Field House on Monday. Krystal Richard and her husband were among those who arrived early to get a shot.

”The deaths is what’s bothering me. I’m scared of it,” Richard explained.

Other resident lined up after waiting weeks for an appointment.

“I’ve got underlying conditions, man. I’ve still got a lot of old people in my family, and I’ve still got to protect them as well, and protect the kids that I’m around,” Kirk Smith said.

Policy makers will continue looking for opportunities to expand vaccine access to a variety hubs and facilities. The Potter’s House is currently being set up as another site in Southern Dallas for vaccine distribution.

Commissioner Price hopes his public stance on the vaccine could help relax some worries.

”This is just important for the entire community,” Price added.