Local pastor shares experience getting COVID-19 vaccine

An Abington pastor says he knows six people who have died from COVID in the last four days and he's doing several funerals in the coming days. Now, he's sharing his experience with the vaccine in hopes of educating those who may choose to not get it. 

"It was emotional, it was safe and it was comfortable," said Marshall Mitchell.

He’s talking about getting the first of a two shot COVID-19 vaccine now available to health care workers. He’s a pastor and also works closely with the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium which provides free COVID testing to the Black community and people without access. 

"I feel good. I felt a little bit yesterday like I received a flu shot. I always feel a little bit icky after I get the flu shot but I'm myself."

Mitchell received the shot Wednesday under the guidance of doctors he works closely with who he says also got it. 

"I'm a person of faith but I'm also a person of science and some of the best science in the world has been deployed to tackle this," said Mitchell.

He and others are now working to educate especially the Black community about the vaccine, Mitchell says in the midst of dangerous myths and conspiracies. 

"I think because of the history of mistrust and distrust we ourselves could find ourselves at the back of the line again because we will pause and hesitate even though we might have moments when we have access to it and that's a very dangerous dynamic," said Mitchell.  

There are also treatment options available in the form of clinical trials. 

Dr. Les Szekely is with Doylestown Health. 

"We're trying to get many treatments including antibodies into people that aren't enough to be in the hospital so we can prevent hospitalizations and deaths," he said.

Dr. Szekely acknowledges not everyone is willing to get the vaccine and there may not be enough so antibody treatments are vital," 

"People who do get enrolled they get a one hour infusion, they're watched for a couple of hours and then intensely monitored with phone calls, nasal swabs and blood work and they’re followed for up to six months," said Dr. Szekely. 

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