GARY - Gary Health Commissioner Dr. Roland Walker got a COVID-19 vaccination Friday morning at Methodist Hospital-Northlake.
Walker said he wants to demonstrate the importance and value of the vaccination to African-Americans, Hispanics and other people of color.
Michael Gonzalez, City of Gary Communications Director says Walker wanted to put people in his community at ease about the vaccine and has been a leader in keeping the residents of Gary informed during this entire pandemic.
"And so one of the things that Dr. Walker said from the beginning is that communities of color so African-Americans, Latinos, other people of color, they tend to have a lower turnout rate when it comes to these vaccinations and that's historical, due to some medical establishment practices that we believe ended up being harmful," Gonzalez said.
Gary Mayor Jerome Prince says that he and Walker understand the importance of demonstrating a commitment to wellness to their communities.
Prince says he appreciates Walker stepping up and receiving the vaccine as soon as it became available.
As a long-time pediatrician, Walker said he understands the fears of some people, but community leaders can help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, especially in communities of color.
Walker says as a 1A vaccination administration site, Methodist Hospitals will be inoculating its own employees as well as those of other area providers during this first phase of vaccine distribution.