AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The Texas Tech University System (TTU) and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) of both Amarillo and El Paso have invited the public to join a virtual town hall discussion on COVID-19 vaccination.
Set for 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. CST on Wednesday, Aug. 18, “This is Your Shot: Vaccine Facts & Science” was described by TTU as intended to address vaccine effectiveness and myths.
As cases of the delta variant increase, Texas lags behind the national average vaccination rates, especially in rural counties and Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. Of the 29 million Texans, only about 43% have been fully vaccinated, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
TTU said that the town hall intends to give attendees facts and information addressing vaccine hesitancy and will allow for questions from the public. Texas Tech University System Chancellor Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., will welcome guests to the town hall. TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., and TTUHSC President Lori Rice-Spearman, Ph.D., will moderate the town hall discussion.
As well as answering questions from viewers, experts intend to address the following subjects.
From TTUHSC El Paso:
- Armando Meza, M.D., chief of infectious diseases
- Why are some individuals still contracting COVID-19 – including the delta variant of the virus – despite being fully vaccinated? Am I going to need a booster dose of the vaccine, and why?
- Sireesha Y. Reddy, M.D., chief of obstetrics and gynecology and Women’s Health Practice medical director
- What are the risks of contracting COVID-19 during pregnancy? What is the evidence of safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy and in newborns?
- Glenn Fennelly, M.D., chair of pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases specialist
- Is the vaccine safe for children? My child is young and healthy. Why do they need the COVID-19 vaccine?
- David Edwards, M.D., medical director, Student Health Services
- Why should a young, otherwise healthy person take a new vaccine? Why is it important to have a vaccinated student community?
- Jeff Dennis, Ph.D., assistant professor of public health
- Why does slowing the spread matter? How can we communicate information about the COVID-19 vaccine with people who are somewhat or strongly opposed to receiving the vaccine?
- Teresa Baker, M.D., obstetrics and gynecology, Infant Risk Center co-director
- Is it safe to get the vaccine if I am breastfeeding? Is it safe to breastfeed if a person tests positive for COVID-19?
- Ronald L. Cook, D.O., TTUHSC Chief Health Officer, chair of family and community medicine and City of Lubbock Health Authority
- There remains lots of controversy over the safety of vaccines. Could we ask you to review the current data and its safety? Explain FDA approval, and should I wait for the approval before I get vaccinated?
The town hall will be available here, and participants are encouraged to sign in at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday.
The town hall will be livestreamed in this article, and available for view.