In a nod to the influence of personal relationships and social media, the organizers invited preachers and retired NFL player Harry Douglas IV in hopes of broadcasting their message farther. Douglas, who said he is vaccinated, advised that people get medical advice from sources who understand the science.
“You can’t listen to Aunt Pearl who’s not a doctor and doesn’t know anything about what’s going on with COVID,” said Douglas, who played for the Atlanta Falcons and the Tennessee Titans.
Toomey said too few doctors, a widely trusted source, are administering the vaccines in their offices, something she hopes to change. The state has tried to make it logistically easier for them by delivering fewer vials — as few as 60 per delivery — of vaccine to ease fears about spoilage.
Yet only 795 physicians, 153 of them pediatricians, have enrolled as providers. There were about 25,000 practicing physicians in the state last year.
Still, vaccines are readily available at pharmacies and other sites. State Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John King, a major general in the U.S. Army National Guard, waived his vaccination card saying he felt “liberated” when he got jabbed. “You feel truly free.”