Tyler Perry Sets Up COVID Vaccination Site for His Studio's Staff and Crew with More Than 250 Vaccinated
Tyler Perry has mobilized COVID-19 vaccine efforts at his Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.
The 51-year-old mogul, who was vaccinated on TV in January, set up a vaccination site at his studio on Saturday together with Grady Hospital, according to a rep for Perry.
Perry calls the event "successful" in a video obtained by PEOPLE, adding, "I've seen a lot of vaccine hesitancy out there and I'm glad that at least 55 percent of my crew agreed to get it."
As a cheer is heard in the background, he says, "You can hear some cheers, so people are excited to have it and get back to normal."
"It's my hope that people will get out and get the vaccine and know that I have it, other members of my staff have it, we've had no issues, no problems," he says. "I've had it since January. That's my hope."
Perry covered the logistical costs of setting up the site while Grady Hospital staff handled the vaccinations.
The vaccines, while not mandatory, were available to everyone at the studio who wanted one. The offer was also extended to the family and friends of those who work at Tyler Perry Studios.
More than 250 Pfizer vaccines were administered in one day.
The studio's bubble is set to end this Saturday now that more than half of the studio's staff and crew have been vaccinated. COVID-19 protocols will remain in place as productions continue.
Since the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, hospital staff members will return to the studios to administer the second dose.
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In January, Perry appeared on the BET project COVID-19 Vaccine and the Black Community: A Tyler Perry Special where he received the COVID vaccine on-camera and asked doctors questions in order to help de-stigmatize the vaccinations amid the pandemic.
"If you look at our history in this country, with 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," he said.
Perry said prior to learning more about the technology that produced the vaccines so quickly, he "didn't really feel like he could trust it." But he explained, "Once I got all the information, found out the research, I was very, very happy."
Perry said he had no reactions to the first Pfizer dose, and after receiving the second dose, Perry said he "woke up with some aches and pains, but I took some Advil about an hour ago and I feel fine now."
Perry assured that he has no regrets in taking the vaccines, given the alternative.
"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," said Perry.
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