Tyler Perry is getting the COVID-19 vaccine during an upcoming BET special to encourage the Black community to get their shots.
The media mogul, 51, announced his plans while talking to Gayle King on CBS This Morning on Wednesday, admitting he was also ‘skeptical’ about the vaccine at first.
Explaining the roots of this wariness, Tyler told Gayle: ‘If you look at our history in this country, the Tuskegee experiment, Henrietta Lacks, and things like that, it raises flags for us as African-American people.’
‘So I understand why there’s a healthy skepticism about the vaccine.’
Inoculated: Tyler Perry will share his COVID-19 vaccination experience in an upcoming BET special, attempting to tamp down the ‘healthy skepticism’ about vaccines in the Black community
The Tuskegee experiment was an unethical natural history study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the United States Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which attempted to track the affects of untreated syphilis.
Henrietta Lacks was Black woman whose cancer cells were take without her consent for research and are now the source of the highly important research cell line, the HeLa cell line.
Tyler’s worries, however, were assuaged by doctors, who will also appear on the special to explain the science behind the vaccine.
‘I wanted to understand the technology of it,’ Tyler. who received the Pfizer vaccine, said.
Science: Tyler’s worries, however, were assuaged by doctors, who will also appear on the special to explain the science behind the vaccine
Informed: Perry said while he was worried about ‘things like “warp speed”‘ pushing the research too fast, he said ‘once I got all the information, found out the research, I was very, very happy’
‘We talked about everything from the Spanish Flu of 1918 to what is happening now to where it came from, but I think my top question was understanding mRNA technology.’
He was also troubled by the rapid pace of the vaccine’s development, which the CDC said could be developed ‘faster than traditional methods.’
‘Things like “warp speed,” I was really concerned because this last administration and all the pressure they were putting on the CDC and FDA, I didn’t feel like I could trust it,’ he said.
‘But once I got all the information, found out the research, I was very, very happy,’ he went on.
Independence: Perry said he was sharing the information with the community, but still is still urging people to ‘make your own choices’
Perry said he was sharing the information with the community, but still is still urging people to ‘make your own choices.’
COVID-19 Vaccine And The Black Community: A Tyler Perry Special airs Thursday, January 28th at 9pm on BET.
Currently cases in the US are on the decline, but the number of deaths hold high, recently averaging more than 3,000 per day.
And all of this is further complicated by the emergence of genetic variants of the virus.
President Biden is trying to ramp up the vaccination effort country-wide.
On Tuesday, he announced his administration was close to purchasing an additional 200million vaccine doses from Moderna and Pfizer.