Fayetteville mayor, a funeral director, steps up to set example in getting COVID vaccine
Posted January 8, 2021 1:04 p.m. EST
Updated January 8, 2021 1:30 p.m. EST
Fayetteville, N.C. — Two coronavirus vaccine clinics are underway in Fayetteville, targeting residents ages 75 and older.
Among those waiting for the vaccine on Friday was Fayetteville's mayor Mitch Colvin. Although he isn't 75 years old, he's a funeral director, which qualifies him to receive the vaccine during this phase.
The good news: Those lined up at either the Crown Complex or Rehab Center at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center will get the shot today.
The bad news: The Health Department has already assigned the 500 doses they plan to give out.
Preparing to get those 500 doses out to the public was a massive undertaking, with residents lining up as early as 6 a.m. Officials began giving out the shot at 9 a.m., and by 11 a.m. they had already assigned the 500 doses on tap for the day.
Fayetteville's mayor encourages members of the Black community to get the vaccine
Colvin was part of the 300 doses being giving out at the Rehab Center.
As mayor, he wanted to publicly receive his shot for two reasons:
1. To encourage all Fayetteville residents to take the shot.
2. As a Black man, he wanted to especially encourage people of color to get the vaccine, despite the lack of trust in some vaccines and medical treatments in Black communities in the past.
"We can't do anything to change that," said Colvin. "What we can do is start to build those boundaries of trust again."
Colvin checked with his personal physician before getting the vaccine, the ensure it was safe for him.
"I wanted to come out and make sure that I could say with conviction that this vaccine is safe. It's needed and it's necessary," he said.
How the vaccine lines work
Residents at the Crown Complex lined up in their vehicles.
After getting their shot, they pulled over to an area where health care workers kept an eye on them for 15 minutes to make sure they didn't have an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
Afterwards, residents go home.
Friday's doses were just the first. Three weeks from now, residents will get their second dose.
The Cumberland County Health Department plans to give out more vaccines again Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of next week. They are especially encouraging people of color, a community more heavily hit by the pandemic, to make plans to get the shot.