As community leaders work to register residents for the COVID-19 vaccine across North Texas, some are also addressing vaccine hesitancy through education.
Community driven pop-up registration events are expanding in some of Dallas’ most vulnerable neighborhoods.
And on Monday, Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House in Dallas hosted a COVID-19 panel discussion with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Kissmekia Corbett, Dr. Jill Waggoner, and Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu.
“Why should American people trust this vaccine,” Jakes asked.
The panel discussion premiered on Jakes’ YouTube channel on Monday.
”You know, the vaccine was developed before the American people’s eyes in nine months, but the work that went into the vaccine development has been happening for several years,” Corbett explained.
The group acknowledged there is a certain level of mistrust and misinformation about coronavirus and the COVID-19 vaccine in the public.
”One of the things we absolutely need to do is we’ve got to make sure we have multiple ways of getting it distributed,” said Fauci.
The health care experts suggested equitable distribution of the vaccine should include hubs in poor communities, food deserts, and health care deserts where some of those most vulnerable of catching the virus live.
”The way we’re going to get around that is putting it in community centers in the community,” Fauci said.
Dallas-based family practice physician Waggoner co-hosted the discussion with Jakes. She said she has been busy fielding questions from patients and treating families.
”Not only am I seeing one patient that’s positive, I’m seeing the whole household,” Waggoner said.
The doctors acknowledged there are people who are apprehensive about the vaccine. They suggested people who may be on the fence about the vaccine should consider doing their own research.
Fauci and Waggoner said the distribution of the vaccine must be fair and equitable.
”We have to have discussions beyond this pandemic to talk about the decisions that are being made for these communities that are keeping us at a disadvantage physically, emotionally,” Waggoner said.
The panel also discussed when people may expect to get back to some sense of normality. Fauci said that could take some time.
”If we get 70% to 85% of the population vaccinated, then we can feel comfortable that we have probably very close to herd immunity,” Fauci said.
Watch Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Conversations with America: Unpacking the COVID-19 Vaccine: