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The original item was published from 12/23/2020 5:25:55 PM to 12/23/2021 12:00:03 AM.

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* Hampton City News

Posted on: December 23, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Mayor Tuck, HU president team up to get COVID-19 vaccination to show vaccine's safety

mayor vaccination 12232020

Dec. 23, 2020 — Mayor Donnie Tuck and Dr. William Harvey, president of Hampton University, received the COVID-19 vaccine today at Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton to demonstrate the safety of the vaccine.

The two leaders stepped forward to show their confidence in the vaccine because, although Black Americans are disproportionally affected by the pandemic, only 42% of Black Americans say they will get a vaccine, compared with 63% of Hispanic and 61% of white adults, according to a Pew Research Center study.

"You have that greater percentage that's unwilling to take it because of primarily reluctance and fear," Tuck said.

Harvey was glad the mayor joined him to get vaccinated, because "as leaders who happen to be African-American, we need to try to be good examples for others, because I believe this is the only way we are going to get out of this pandemic — for people to take the vaccine."

For more information about the safety of the vaccine, visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

Harvey addressed the Tuskegee study, the source of much the fear among the Black community. He said it was shameful, but nothing like that is going to happen now, he saidIn the experiment, which started in 1932, government doctors secretly withheld medical treatment from hundreds of Black men in Alabama who believed they were being given medicine for syphilis. Since the study was stopped, federal rules were implemented to protect subjects in health studies. 

Virginia began giving the COVID-19 vaccine this week to frontline healthcare workers. Because initial supplies are limited, priority for the vaccine is being given to those workers and to residents of long-term care facilities in the state. As the vaccine becomes more available, officials will expand the groups recommended for vaccination. You can get more information about vaccines online at the Virginia Department of Health website.

The number of new COVID-19 cases reported in Virginia today is 4,652, the highest total of new cases reported in one day since March, according to Virginia Department of Health data. There have been 319,133 cases in the state and 4,760 deaths caused by the virus. In Hampton, 58 new cases were reported today. The city has seen 3,988 total cases and 43 deaths. 

Officials urge residents to continue social distancing, staying home unless it's necessary to travel and wearing masks when in public around others.

More about the COVID-19 vaccine ...
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