Tyler Perry opens vaccination site for studio staff, crew
'It's my hope that people will just get out and get the vaccine.'
After getting his own COVID-19 vaccine shot on TV in January, Tyler Perry helped his production crew vaccinated over the weekend.
On Saturday, the Hollywood mogul set up a vaccination site at his Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. Perry teamed with Grady Hospital staff for the event and, per THR, he covered the logical costs of setting up the site where 250 Pfizer vaccine shots were administered.
The vaccine was not mandatory and was made available to anyone working at the studio (including their family members and friends) who wanted a shot. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, and hospital staff will return later this month to administer the second one, according to the report.
“There’s still a lot of vaccine hesitancy out there,” said Perry, noting that more than 50 percent of his crew agreed to get vaccinated. “It’s my hope that people will just get out and get the vaccine, and know that I have it and other members of my staff have it and we’ve [had] no issues, no problems.”
In January, Perry received the COVID vaccine on-camera during the BET project COVID-19 Vaccine and the Black Community: A Tyler Perry Special. In an interview with theGrio, he called out the Black church for its response to the pandemic and vaccine rollout.
“I have been so extremely disappointed with the church. It is almost heartbreaking … it is heartbreaking on so many levels,” said Perry, “looking at the church and what it means to be a church to be there for the people. It means having the doors open. It means feeding the people. It means getting COVID testing. It means getting the vaccine done at the church.
“Being the church means all of those things. And if a church is not stepping up to meeting those needs, then what good are you?” Perry added. “To stand in the pulpit and just preach about God and Jesus and he is going to make a way when you have the opportunity and you have the ability to help somebody and you don’t. What good are you?”
Perry did, however, acknowledge there are many churches who are doing “the right thing,” including giving back and feeding the community.
“I am not talking about them,” said Perry.
“I have been really really disappointed in them not stepping up and meet the need. ‘Cause that is what the heart and backbone of [what] the church is.
Perry previously made clear that he has no regrets in taking the vaccines.
“Here’s what you don’t understand: the problem with this COVID-19 virus is you never know how it’s going to affect you,” he said. “I’ve had people die that I know, people who have had long-term health issues that I know. So you’re making the choice of getting the vaccine … and reducing your chances of ending up in the ICU by 100 percent.”
“I think it’s important for people to know that if you take your chances with COVID, you never know how it’s going to affect you, and it could affect your long-term health,” Perry added.
*April Ryan contributed to this report.
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