UK to hold COVID-19 vaccine town hall this Saturday

Posted at 1:03 PM, Apr 23, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The University of Kentucky is prepping for a COVID-19 vaccine community town hall this weekend. A virtual panel of experts from UK HealthCare and the UK Colleges of Pharmacy, Medicine and Health Sciences will be available Saturday to answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines for people who may still be hesitant to receive one, such as those in minority communities.

“We will have a panel that looks like the people we are talking to [Saturday]. So, we believe that representation does matter and that was by design,” said Chief Diversity Officer for UK HealthCare Tukea Talbert.

Talbert says she understands why some people are hesitant and that the town hall isn't about changing people but making sure they have the right information to know what's a myth and what is factual.

“We would also treat and approach this conversation with tooling people with information to make the best decision because ultimately that decision is up to each individual,” she said.

While the panel is virtual, there are several in-person locations in Lexington where people can go to view it. Those who attend will also be able to register for a COVID-19 vaccination.

“We need to meet people where they are when we're communicating science,” said Vince Venditto, an assistant professor in the UK College of Pharmacy. “A lot of this comes down to making personal connections. When we think that this vaccine is coming from a pharmaceutical company and it's being pushed on us, there's not a personal connection there with the people who are doing the work.”

There are eight locations where people can view the virtual panel:

  • Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabah, 1545 Russell Cave Road, Lexington, Ky.
  • Dunbar Community Center, 545 N. Upper St., Lexington, Ky.
  • Kenwick Community Center, 313 Owsley Ave., Lexington, Ky.
  • Castlewood Community Center, 201 Castlewood Drive, Lexington, Ky.
  • SHARE Center, 572 Georgetown St., Lexington, Ky.
  • Central Christian Church, 205 E. Short St., Lexington, Ky.
  • Quinn Chapel, 744 Charles Ave., Lexington, Ky.
  • Charles Young Community Center, 540 E. Third St., Lexington, Ky.

The town hall begins at 10 a.m. Saturday.