Dispelling COVID-19 Vaccine Myths, Overcoming Hesitancy
Yesterday, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) joined an all-star panel of experts for the “Making It Plain and Simple: Overcoming COVID Vaccine Hesitancy” Virtual Town Hall. Organized by the Columbus (OH) Chapter of the Links, Inc. the event focused on the critical need for all Ohioans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We know that Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus,” Beatty said. “Yet, many in our community are reluctant to get the vaccine because they are distracted by myths and falsehoods.” She continued, “As Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, I am working overtime to overcome these hurdles, beginning by improving education and awareness around COVID-19 as well as the production, distribution, efficacy, and safety of available vaccines.”
During the virtual town hall, Beatty also highlighted her work in Ohio’s Third Congressional District and the Halls of Congress to meet the needs of Central Ohio workers, families, and small businesses negatively impacted by the ongoing public health crisis. “Recently, with my help, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan,” she noted. “This landmark, life-changing piece of legislation puts dollars into pockets, gets people back to work, returns children and teachers safely to the classroom, improves vaccine research and distribution, and strengthens our economy so that we can continue to build back better—all while crushing the virus.” Beatty added, “Policy and writing bills are important, but being pragmatic and putting a face on the initiative is equally as important. We must lead by example, and the Congressional Black Caucus is determined to do just that.”
According to the latest data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three troubling trends have emerged: (1) there is a consistent pattern of a smaller percentage of vaccinated Black Americans as compared to their respective share of cases, deaths and total population; (2) White Americans are overrepresented in the percentage of vaccines administered; and (3) the White vaccination rate is nearly double that of Black Americans (19 percent vs. 11 percent).
In addition to Beatty, panelists included: Tracy Townsend Enders, President, Links, Inc. Columbus, Ohio; Dr. Leon McDougle, President, National Medical Association, and Chair, National Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force on Vaccines and Therapeutics, Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Health Commissioner, City of Columbus; Rachelle Martin, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Franklin County; Dr. Reversa Joseph; Movement Disorders Pathologist; Chalmers P. Wiley VA Ambulatory Care Center; and Dr. Gloria Fleming, Professor, Clinical Ophthalmology, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.