RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor received his first COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. However, Sheriff Taylor reports 71% of his staff declined to be vaccinated at this time.
Sheriff Taylor tells News 3 he felt like the vaccine was the right choice for him.
“My parents and in-laws are elderly. I don’t want anyone to contract it from me. I don’t want it myself. It is such an unknown when people get this virus. One person, it does not affect on, and they are fine in two days, and the next person is in fairly good health, and they wind up in the hospital on a ventilator,” said Taylor.
Skepticism surrounding the vaccine is real. Taylor says out of 140 Russell County Sheriff’s Office employees, 40 chose to get vaccinated. One hundred decided not to be vaccinated at this time.
“I am not forcing anyone to take it if they don’t want to take it right now and if they don’t feel safe. I am not making them do that,” said Taylor.
Sheriff Taylor says he trusts the science behind the vaccine and hopes confidence will grow as time goes on.
“That’s one of the reasons I took it first. I am not one of those guys who makes someone do something they aren’t going to do themselves. So, I feel like by me doing it, if something happens, maybe it will help them not get it, and if I am okay and all goes well, maybe it will help them take it,” said Taylor.
For more information on COVID-19 Vaccine distribution in Alabama, please visit Alabama Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine site.