by Robin Kemp
U.S. Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock visited the Delta Flight Museum COVID-19 mass vaccination site Monday morning, where he thanked the pharmacists, technicians, National Guard troops, and others involved in getting shots into arms.
The center can deliver 1,500 to 2,000 shots per day at present using five drive-through lanes. Friends and family of Delta employees can get vaccinated inside the museum.
Warnock urged Clayton County residents to get vaccinated.
“This vaccine site is good news for all of us,” Warnock said. “I want to encourage people to get your vaccination as soon as possible. When it’s your opportunity to do so, don’t delay, I’ve had both of my vaccines. I’m standing here doing just fine. Don’t be afraid of the vaccine. Be concerned about the virus. This is an important tool in the arsenal against this virus and lucky for the folks in Clayton County and across our state that this is happening right here, right now.”
Warnock toured the drive-through site, surprising people at their car windows as they waited in line for their shots and giving the thumbs-up to pharmacy workers inside a tent where they were drawing the vaccine into syringes.
Before the senator arrived, two seniors waiting for their MARTA Mobility bus were eager to tell their stories.
“We got our first dose today,” said James D. Brown, 79, of Jonesboro. “It was very fast, non-painful.”
“I didn’t even feel it,” said Mae E. Harden, 85, also of Jonesboro. “I’m fine with it. I don’t really like needles but I didn’t even feel it. I didn’t even feel it. Not even a pinch, I didn’t feel it. I was still sitting there waiting on her and she said, ‘Oh, you’re through.'”
“It was just that what was being put on TV made you think it would be a painful thing, because of the size of the needle.,” Brown said. “But you don’t even feel it. You don’t even feel the injection, alright? And more people need to do this. We need to dispel those rumors that we had, because I’m a high-risk, and at one point I was very reluctant about doing this because of all the misinformation that social media has been done, and reporting that’s gone on. But this is the best thing, I think, for everyone. Everyone needs to do this because we’re never gonna get control of this [virus] unless we go in this herd immunity situation, alright? Once we can get just about everybody into this, then we can rest assured that those people that haven’t got it, then they can be singled out some way to convince them to get it.”
Although the vaccine is not a cure for COVID-19, he said, ” I have so many diagnostics that I am dealing with. I had to have open heart surgery, diabetic, apnea, you know, and those different types of ailments, and what that’s gonna do is almost give me a wall of protection. That’s what Pfizer’s inoculation is gonna do. It’s only gonna serve as a wall of protection.”
He urges everyone to wear a mask, even after getting the shot. “A mask, you must stay masked up. We’ve gotta take on a different approach to living, but it’s alright. It’s alright, You’ll never get back to normal. Alright? That’s a dream, alright? But we can get back to a normalcy that’s comfortable for everyone.”
Brown, who’s from Brooklyn, said he’s lost a couple of people to COVID-19. “I lost some people in New York, and my mother’s second cousin, she came down with it, but she weathered the storm and came through. And so I have some prior knowledge of what it’s like. I hope I never get it, I just pray. And God has been good to us.”