ATLANTA (AP) — Senator-elect Raphael Warnock of Georgia has received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Warnock shared a video of himself getting the vaccine and encouraged people on Friday to “trust science and listen to experts, continue to social distance, and wear a mask.”
Warnock, who plans to continue serving as pastor of the Atlanta church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached, beat Republican Kelly Loeffler in one of Georgia’s two Senate runoffs on Jan. 5. He’ll be sworn into office after the secretary of state certifies the results.
In the video, Warnock is seen taking off his dress shirt to receive the vaccine while wearing a facemask, and joking about not being able to watch the needle go in. “I’m not looking,” Warnock laughs squeamishly.
He received the vaccine at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. In a statement, he thanked medical workers and said “I pray that as we take these steps, we can fight this pandemic and ease their burden.”
Warnock’s announcement comes as states across the Deep South struggle with vaccine rollouts.
Less than 2% of the populations of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina had been given a first dose of the vaccine as of the beginning of this week, according to data from the states and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.