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IN THE NEWS: Md. lawmaker records receiving COVID-19 vaccine to encourage others to get vaccinated

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

WTOP News, Kate Ryan, Link Here.

Friday morning, on his way to the Maryland General Assembly session, Del. Jazz Lewis tweeted about his experience getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Lewis included a photo of himself getting the vaccination, and later videotaped himself explaining that part of the process includes having recipients wait for a period of time to make sure there are no adverse effects.

“Nothing happened,” he said, adding that staff watch for reactions before releasing vaccine recipients “in case you do — or typically have reactions to vaccines — that’s fine. They’re on hand to help you out.”

Lewis explained that he really wanted to encourage Marylanders — especially people of color like himself — to get vaccinated.

He recognized that there may be “vaccine hesitancy” based on the history of medical experiments that have been conducted on Black people without their knowledge or consent.

“I think the time we’re in now, where everyone’s talking about equity and the like, I think we can talk about what Dr. Fauci and our health officials are saying,” Lewis said.

Lewis added that African American scientist Kizzmekia Corbett, a viral immunologist with a doctorate in microbiology and immunology, worked with the teams at the National Institutes of Health on researching the Moderna vaccine.

In stressing the safety of the coronavirus vaccine during an event hosted by the National Urban League last December, Dr. Anthony Fauci singled out Corbett as one of the scientists at the forefront of the vaccine’s development, CNN reported.

Lewis also mentioned that Prince George’s County is behind the rest of Maryland in the number of vaccinations administered.

“So I’m urging everyone who can get vaccinated to get vaccinated, so that we can get our economy rolling again; we can get our students back in school,” he said.

Lewis hopes that his use of social media to get the word out on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines is helpful.

“We need to protect ourselves,” Lewis said. “I hope that me going to get my vaccine and documenting that will help a few people get a little more comfortable.”

Lewis knows that some people believe once they’ve had the vaccine that they can skip wearing a mask.

Not so, he said, mentioning that President Joe Biden has urged Americans to wear their masks, and signed an executive order mandating masks on federal property, on planes, buses and trains.

When it comes to wearing a mask, Lewis said, “There’s no excuse not to, when we could protect our brethren and sisters and the community.”

He explained that as a lawmaker, he had access to vaccination under Phase 1b. It’s part of the “continuity of government” plan.

“Everyone should be using their masks. I don’t really think there’s an excuse not to when you know we can protect our brethren and our sisters in the community,” Lewis emphasized.

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