HAMPTON, Va. (Dec. 24, 2020) — Two important leaders in the Hampton Roads Community, Dr. William R. Harvey, Hampton University President, and Donnie R. Tuck, City of Hampton Mayor, received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, December 23 at Sentara CarePlex Hospital. These leaders received the vaccine to encourage the African American community to receive shots of their own when they can.
“I’m just as happy as I can be that a vaccine has been developed and I know there are already a number of people who have some reluctance. In the last week and a half, I’ve had two conversations with the Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Jerome Adams and one of the things he talked about was that those of us in leadership positions should persuade others to follow through,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey. “Mayor Donnie Tuck and I are leaders who happen to be African Americans. We want to make sure that people understand that it’s important to get the vaccine.”
Along with encouraging African Americans to receive the vaccine, Mayor Tuck also had personal reasons for wanting to get vaccinated. “I had a 76 year old uncle who died of COVID-19 back in September. I think the fact that Hampton’s infection rate is the second highest in the area and increasing. The fact that 42% of African Americans around the country show a willingness to take the vaccine, but we have that other percentage of those who are unwilling to take it because of fear, it is important for us as leaders to be forthright and set an example by taking the vaccine,” said Tuck.
Hampton City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Jeffery O. Smith, also received the COVID-19 vaccination with Dr. Harvey and Mayor Tuck.
Sentara Healthcare received its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine December 14 and began administering the COVID-19 vaccine first to healthcare workers with the highest risk of COVID-19 exposure. As the vaccine becomes more available, Sentara Healthcare will continue to give updates to community members.