Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Coronavirus Task Force, shares an important message on the critical role of COVID-19 vaccines in saving lives. As some individuals remain hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee implores, “I’m asking you as a neighbor to go get vaccinated. I’m asking you as a family member to get vaccinated. And I’m asking you as a Houstonian, a Texan, and an American.”
Given the recent federal recommendations and ongoing discussions around COVID-19 booster vaccines, the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project convened a partner townhall to address COVID-19 booster vaccine considerations. The discussion addressed the research and approval process for COVID-19 booster recommendations, questions about eligibility availability and timing, and highlighted the ongoing research and data showing that all three vaccines remain highly effective against the virus and the variants that have emerged.
- Dr. Peter Marks, Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER)
- Dr. Melinda Wharton, Associate Director for Vaccine Policy and Clinical Partnerships at the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)
The discussion was co-moderated by Venus Ginés, President and Founder of Dia de la Mujer Latina and Sue Peschin, President and CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research and a co-convener of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project hosted a Facebook Live event with local leaders to discuss overcoming vaccine hesitancy among Detroit’s Black community. The conversation addressed common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine development process, safety and efficacy, myths vs. facts and highlighted available on-the-ground resources to help instill confidence in the vaccines.
- State Rep. Tyrone Carter (D – District 6)
- Yolanda Hill-Ashford, Director of Public Health Programs, Detroit Health Department
- Karyne Jones, President & CEO, National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc.
Given the low COVID-19 vaccination rates and the unique challenges rural areas face in overcoming vaccine hesitancy, the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project convened a conversation around building vaccine confidence in Southwest Missouri. Bringing together unique perspectives from the business community, local health officials and Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, the event addressed common questions about COVID-19 vaccines, the importance of vaccination in rebuilding the local economy and efforts underway to encourage vaccinations in the state.
Confirmed participants included:
- U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO)
- Katie Towns, Director, Springfield-Greene County Health Department
- Dan Mehan, President and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce
The COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project facilitated a Spanish-Language Fireside Chat, featured on Facebook, on September 9th at 2:00 pm CT. This virtual event focused on building COVID-19 vaccine confidence and how health experts are working to increase vaccine uptake in Houston’s Latinx communities and beyond.
Confirmed participants included:
- Venus Ginés, President and Founder of Día de la Mujer Latina
- Dr. Zaida Lopez, epidemiologist with the Houston Health Department’s Bureau of Epidemiology
Given the state of vaccination rates in Texas and the rise of the Delta variant, the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project convened a discussion around overcoming vaccine hesitancy, particularly among Houston’s diverse population on August 16th.
Representative Kevin Brady (TX-08)
Dr. Andrea Caracostis, Chief Executive Officer, HOPE Clinic
Venus Ginés, President and Founder, Día de la Mujer Latina
The Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor, City of Houston
Karyne Jones, President and CEO, National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc.
With children 12 years of age and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccination and families gearing up for the start of a new school season, the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project convened a webinar intended to answer commons questions about the vaccine and provide parents with the information they need to include vaccination as part of their school-ready checklist on August 3rd.
Confirmed participants included:
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor on COVID-19 to the president
- Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) at the Food and Drug Administration
- Dr. Lee Savio Beers, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, professor of Pediatrics and the medical director for Community Health and Advocacy at Children’s National Hospital
- Linda Mendonca, DNP, RN, PHNA-BC, NCSN, FNASN, President of the National Association of School Nurses
- Karyne Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc. and co-convener of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education Equity Project
- Sue Peschin, President and CEO of Alliance for Aging Research and co-convener of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education Equity Project
With summer camps, sports leagues and the rollout of vaccines for adolescents underway across the country, the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project convened a discussion around building confidence in and ways to increase access to vaccines for children age 12-17 on July 1st.
- Laura Blaisdell, MD/MPH, FAAP, Medical Director at Camp Winnebago, Vice President of Maine AAP and founding member of Maine Families for Vaccines
- Dr. Amanda Cohn, Chief Medical Officer of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases; Executive Secretary of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; CAPT, US Public Health Service
- Jessica Gamaché, Director, United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries Association
Sue Peschin, President and CEO of Alliance for Aging Research and co-convener of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education Equity Project moderated the discussion.
Watch the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project’s June 9th town hall discussion hosted in conjunction with WBRC FOX6 News in Birmingham, Alabama. This conversation brought together a panel of healthcare, faith-based and community leaders for a dialogue on the infrastructure, geographic and socioeconomic barriers impacting rural and underserved communities’ ability to equitably access COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as the importance of addressing vaccine hesitancy in communities throughout the state and country.
The one-hour town hall was moderated by WBRC FOX6 news anchor Morgan Hightower and began with a video message from Alabama U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville , encouraging all Alabamians to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The subsequent discussion included panelists:
- Karyne Jones, COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project convener and President & CEO of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging
- Dr. Derrick Jordan, Pastor at Hope Everlasting Ministry
- Michael Saag, M.D., Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases Associate Dean, Global Health, UAB Medicine
- John Waits, M.D., FAAFP, CEO, CFMR Program Director, FM & OB Faculty, Physician at Cahaba Medical Care
Hear from Dr. Saad Omer, Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and Director of the Yale Institute for Global Health on the development and approval process of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the importance of engaging with diverse communities around vaccine hesitancy.