SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Khlaid Bey is the only candidate running for Mayor of Syracuse not yet vaccinated against coronavirus.
Bey, a current Syracuse Common Councilor, is running for the Democratic primary nomination.
In checking with all the candidates, the four other have gotten their shots: incumbent independent Mayor Ben Walsh, Republican primary candidates Janet Burman and Thomas Babilon and Democratic primary candidate Michael Greene.
In an interview with NewsChannel 9, Councilor Bey says he has a history of adverse reactions to prescription medicine.
Bey says he was previously admitted to the hospital with serious reactions to medicine prescribed to him after a spider bite.
Bey says he protects himself from drugs so strictly, he’s currently not treating a broken elbow with any painkillers. The same strategy is keeping Bey away from the vaccine, for now.
“I’ve talked to my doctors about it, and I still am,” says Bey, “and until some conclusion is determined, I’m still on the fence.”
Bey has been seen without a mask in the Syracuse Common Council Chambers, as recently as a vote on Monday, but the desks are still spaced out to allow for social distancing. Bey wore a mask Friday on the campaign trail when in the proximity of other people and when delivering campaign signs.
His advice to the rest of the city is for each person to talk with their doctor about the pros and cons of getting the shot.
He says, “I wouldn’t be a person to campaign against it. It’s not intelligent. I always admonish a person to be smart how they move, to take precautions, talk to their own doctors if they have concerns about it.”
Mayor Ben Walsh reported Friday that only 40% of people living in the City of Syracuse have gotten the first shot of the vaccine.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are overwhelmingly safe and effective and were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. More than 302 million doses have been administered.
Rare occurrences of allergic reactions have been reported after doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The 15-minute or 30-minute waiting period after the vaccine allows medical providers and emergency responders to be on standby for any reactions.
“I won’t put my health on the line to get a job,” the councilor says. “If I was to receive an ultimatum ‘get vaccinated or else,’ I just wouldn’t be your mayor.”