BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Experts say we are reaching a point in the pandemic where those who want the vaccine, have either already had their shots, or have made plans to get them.
Now, efforts to encourage more people to get a COVID-19 vaccine are ramping up. And one local pastor is helping in that effort.
Thomas Beavers is the senior pastor of New Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church in Birmingham, also known as The Star Church.
Beavers says he also had some concerns about getting the vaccine initially, but once he and his family were diagnosed with COVID, he wanted to do everything he could to prevent anyone else from getting the virus.
Now, he’s using his story and his platform to get others to roll up their sleeves.
“I contracted COVID-19 in November of 2020 and my whole house got it, but it did me really, really bad. Everybody else was asymptomatic. I was not asymptomatic,” Pastor Beavers said.
After fully recovering from COVID, Beavers says he started warming up to the idea of getting a COVID vaccine but decided to take a wait-and-see approach.
“And then people close to me, who are in proximity to me like my mom, as well as my college basketball teammates, they got the vaccine and they did well. So, when I started seeing people close to me get the vaccine and they did well I got the vaccine myself,” Beavers said.
He says he understands why many may still be hesitant to get a COVID shot, but he believes more people will come around with time.
Beaver says he knows a lot of people look to the church to make major life decisions.
He says he doesn’t want to twist anyone’s arm to get vaccinated, but he hopes he can be an example.
“Hey…I have taken the vaccine. I’m not in the business of lying to people. I love God too much to lie to you and I love you too much to lie to you. I’m not telling you what to do, but I’m telling you that I have taken it and I have done well, and so if you have any fear about taking the vaccine…look at me. I’m still standing,” Beavers said.
The Star Church has partnered with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Mountain Brook by putting together a couple of vaccine clinics.
Beavers says both of those clinics were successful and he wants to do more soon.