Coronavirus: Ohio Department of Health launches series of COVID-19 vaccine town halls

Coronavirus: Ohio Department of Health launches series of COVID-19 vaccine town halls

The Ohio Department of Health is holding a virtual town hall meeting at 6:30 tonight to inform people across the state about the benefits of the coronavirus vaccine. It is the first of four events, all on-line, with each night targeting specific groups of people. Tonight focuses on African-Americans with experts in public health, faith leaders and community leaders statewide speaking on the issues surrounding the vaccine.

Each town hall targets specific populations, but, they are open to anyone.

February 22: 6:30 p.m. – African-American Ohioans

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February 23: 6:30 p.m. – Hispanic/Latino Ohioans

March 1: 6:30 p.m. – Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Ohioans

March 22: 6:30 p.m. – Rural Ohioans

“It is important to share reliable, factual information about COVID-19 vaccines with all Ohioans. These vaccines are safe and effective. There are many myths about vaccines and about the COVID-19 vaccine, in particular. Having questions answered with credible information can impact whether someone chooses to get the vaccine. We are excited to provide accurate and reliable information from trusted sources,” said ODH Director Stephanie McCloud.

Jamie Carmichael, Health Opportunity Advisor, Ohio Department of Health, said the coronavirus disproportionally impacted minority communities. With the vaccine now available, Carmichael said health professionals want to connect the vaccine with the people who need it most. “This is really an educational opportunity for folks. It’s an opportunity to get facts instead of all of the myths that are out there. And it also an attempt to reduce hesitancy around this vaccine,” Carmichael said.

The department of health will be airing the town hall at a later time on public access television on the Ohio Channel, according to their release. Citizens can find the channel by checking their PBS station or television provider.

The recordings will be aired on the following dates:

February 27:

  • 6:00 p.m. Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for African-Americans
  • 7:00 p.m. Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Hispanic/Latino Americans

February 28:

  • 2:00 p.m. Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for African-Americans
  • 3:00 p.m. Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Hispanic/Latino Americans

March 6:

  • 6:00 p.m. Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Ohioans
  • 7:00 p.m. Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Rural Ohioans

March 7:

  • 2:00 p.m. Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Ohioans
  • 3:00 p.m. Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Rural Ohioans

“As we strive toward health equity in our state, all Ohioans need accurate information about and access to COVID-19 vaccine. We are pleased to make the vaccine more accessible by distributing it to every county in Ohio, supporting bilingual vaccination pop-up sites in underserved neighborhoods, recruiting vaccine providers in highly vulnerable areas, and planning a COVID-19 vaccine webpage specifically addressing equity,” said McCloud.

People can post questions in advance of the events on the Facebook page of the Ohio Department of Health. Some of the early comments already posted ranged from seeking information to outright skepticism. One poster asked when the next phase of the state’s response to the coronavirus will be released. Another person posting to the page asked if any differing opinions will be featured or if all of the experts will be “friendly to the Governor.”

You can watch the events live or view them later at: