WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - WECT, along with representatives from Novant Health and New Hanover Regional Medical Center hosted a Facebook live forum on the COVID-19 vaccine. The discussion, which will include questions from viewers, is taking place Wednesday at 8 p.m. See below for live link.
The purpose of the forum is to have an open discussion about the COVID-19 vaccine and to address concerns about the safety of the injection.
Joshua Jones, a leading pharmacist at NHRMC will dispel myths that the vaccine contains the virus. Jones, who is African American, will also address the racial disparities as white people are vaccinated at a much higher rate than black people.
Some of those disparities are due to fear of the vaccine.
“Because of some of the psychological issues that arise from being used before in the history of this country with black folk, so it’s legitimate to us,” says Linda Pearce Thomas, an outreach advocate. “But you have to realize this is a life and death situation, especially for African-Americans and we need to seriously consider doing this for ourselves.”
According to a recent Associated Press analysis, black people are getting inoculated at levels below their share of the general population.
Dr. Phil Brown, Executive Vice President and Chief Physician at NHRMC says minority groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 yet are getting the vaccine at a much lower rate.
“We know for sure that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a profoundly disproportionate amount of suffering for people of color, with disparities in disease and death rates across the country,” Brown says. “As we deploy preventive vaccination with the power to defeat the disease, it is of critical importance that we insure equitable and in many cases preferential access to vaccination for those groups most adversely affected. We must not allow historic patterns of inequitable access to health care to be repeated with COVID vaccination, and we are committed to assure equity is achieved.”
Dr. Brown is one of the five participants who will take part in the discussion Wednesday and will answer questions sent in by WECT viewers.
The participants are:
* Joshua Jones, NHRMC pharmacist
* Dr. Phil Brown, NHRMC Chief Physician
* Linda Rawley Thompson, Chief Diversity and Equity Officer for New Hanover County
* Tamara Smith, Vice President of Community Engagement for Novant Health
* Jimmy Tate, President of Mt. Calvary University and recipient of both vaccines
If you would like to submit a question, click here.