ADAMS COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - In Adams County, the sheriff survived COVID-19.
Now, he is encouraging his deputies to get vaccinated after only a few people signed up.
The sheriff says he was skeptical at first, but now he is changing his tune to help save lives.
“I took the shot in hopes of protecting my own family and my extended family,” said Sheriff Travis Patten.
Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten was recently vaccinated.
Although Patten battled the coronavirus back in March of last year, the sheriff admits he wasn’t always smiling and ready to roll up his sleeve to get vaccinated due to skepticism and questions about it.
“If I am being totally transparent, a lot of African Americans felt like there were not enough clinical trials done on African Americans. Number two, it was pushed out so fast.”
Lt. Stanley Searcy was just as concerned and reluctant about the rollout of the vaccines.
“It is new. One day there is no cure, and we don’t know how to treat it, and then the next several weeks there is a vaccine that is on the market, and you are not aware of its side effects or if they are any side effects.”
The Lieutenant says after hearing the sheriff got his shot, as well as doing his own research, and praying about it, he signed up to get it. He gets his first vaccine dose Tuesday.
“As a first responder and being in contact with the community, I feel good about it. Of course, I have faith and trust God, and I also trust medicine as well, so we are going to give it a shot and see how it works out,” said Searcy.
As for Sheriff Patten, he says after reading about the effectiveness of the vaccines and consulting with his doctor, he also felt comfortable getting the shot.
Patten also wants to show true leadership and promote health and safety during this pandemic.
“It just hit home to me when the CDC called and asked me how many on your agency had been vaccinating. Out of 95 people, only 17 members of my staff had been vaccinated. I feel that law enforcement: whether it’s the courts, jails, street deputies, or investigators, we’re constantly in contact with people nonstop, so if anyone needs to be vaccinated it needs to be us,” said Sheriff Patten.