COVID 19 vaccination town hall meeting
By Lindsay Peyton
The good news? There are now vaccines for COVID-19 rolling out in Texas. The bad news, however, is that there are a number of lingering questions and concerns about vaccination. Houston Methodist Hospital is partnering with the Texas Annual Conference to host a virtual town hall to address anxieties and spread awareness.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall, is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Houston Methodist president and CEO Dr. Marc Bloom, division head of hospital medicine Dr. Ryan C. Neal and Jones Memorial UMC Senior Pastor at Kenneth Levingston will discuss various topics, ranging from how safe the vaccines are to when to expect access to vaccinations.
Arianne D. Dowdell, vice president, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Houston Methodist, will serve as moderator. “The goal is to make sure people have a chance to have their questions answered and get informed about the vaccine,” she said.
A flier for the event will be published and contain a hyperlink, allowing attendees to submit questions in advance, which are due by Saturday, Jan. 16.
All congregants and churches in the Texas Annual Conference are invited to attend virtually. Reservations to the town hall can be made through Tuesday, Jan. 19. After an individual has signed up, a link will be sent with details to sign in to the event.
“Myths are keeping people from getting the vaccine,” Dowdell explained. “People have questions about the vaccine, and everyone’s questions are different.”
Reaching communities of color and addressing their concerns are especially important, she added. “Who’s been impacted the most by COVID-19? It’s our communities of color,” she said. “There are understandably questions based on what’s gone on in history. But we’ll never improve the numbers in our community if we don’t get vaccinated.”
Dowdell said that she, Dr. Neal and Dr. Bloom have all received their first round of the vaccine and will have their second before the town hall. They will be able to describe their experience firsthand.
“It’s time to address any questions and have conversations about the vaccine,” Dowdell said.
She said that Houston Methodist webpage has a number of resources for individuals with concerns about the vaccine and the virus. Go to houstonmethodist.org/coronavirus/ for more information.
To learn about Houston Methodist, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) , visit houstonmethodist.org/about-us/diversity-equity-inclusion/. Follow the department on social media at @HMethodistCares.