LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Local health experts led a community town hall on Saturday to answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine as the state continues its push to vaccinate more Kentuckians.
The University of Kentucky partnered with local faith leaders and SHARE Lexington for the event, which was held virtually but broadcast at several community centers across the city.
Those who attended in person also had the opportunity to register for a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We want to encourage people to continue to have these crucial conversations about the vaccine,” said Chief Diversity Officer for UK HealthCare Tukea Talbert.
Nearly 40-percent of Kentucky’s adult population have received their initial dose, according to state data. About 800,000 more Kentuckians will need to be vaccinated to meet the 2.5 million person goal Gov. Andy Beshear has set before he’ll loosen state COVID-19 restrictions.
However, vaccine hesitancy remains a challenge.
The panel of experts responded to a series of questions about the safety, efficacy, and long-term effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Questions like, ‘Which vaccine is best?’
“All three of the vaccines are good and effective, they're effective at preventing severe disease outcomes, preventing hospitalizations, and even death,” answered DeShana Collett, an associate professor in the UK College of Health Sciences.
Another question: ‘Should I get vaccinated if I’ve had COVID-19?’
“I think some people think that if I've had the COVID-19 virus, then I don't need to be vaccinated. But that is not true. Even if you've had COVID-19, you should be vaccinated,” responded Trenika Mitchell, an associate professor in the UK’s College of Pharmacy.
Saturday’s town hall served to educate the community, address misinformation, and encourage those listening to get vaccinated.
“We give the shots but nobody likes needles. I don't either, but a little short-term pain for long-term gain is where we have to find ourselves and think about where we want to be,” Talbert said.
If you would like to watch the full town hall, you can do so here.