Leading Health Care and Infectious Disease Experts Join Together to Discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Safety, Equity and Distribution
Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease Convenes National Conversation Moderated by BBC World News America’s Katty Kay;
Launches ‘VacciNATION’ to Provide Information and Resources
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- As Americans patiently await their turn for COVID-19 vaccination, a group of leading medical, health equity and public policy experts discussed and answered questions as part of a national briefing today about vaccines, including safety and efficacy; equitable access; and efficient distribution. The briefing, convened by the Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease (PFID) and moderated by BBC World News America’s Katty Kay, is available immediately at www.fightinfectiousdisease.org.
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“Being in the community and being a trusted messenger goes a long way,” said Leon McDougle, MD, MPH, President of the National Medical Association and Professor of Family Medicine, The Ohio State University. “Risk-benefit assessment has to be a part of these discussions in order to achieve transparency, and to have this national and global discussion is very helpful.”
Jewel Mullen, MD, MPH, Associate Dean for Health Equity at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, echoed this sentiment.
“We have a lot to do to keep people on board until it’s their turn,” she said. “Reflecting and continuous learning along the way will help put everything in context for big groups and individuals.”
In addition to ongoing education, the experts state that the same work ethic and collaboration that brought forth the initial vaccines must carry through distribution.
“These successful partnerships of industry, community, government, and scientists will hopefully influence how things are generally done into the future,” said Carlos del Rio, MD, Hubert Professor and Chair of the Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health, and professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine.
Susan Winckler, RPh, Esq., CEO of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), added: “The collaboration of industry, science and academia, the FDA and other entities in government and the willingness to share information has allowed everyone to move more quickly and learn from what others have done.”
Informing people on COVID-19 risks, how vaccines work, and how vaccines can help people protect themselves and their families from COVID-19 is an essential next step, and recognizing and addressing concerns must be a part of the process.
“One of the pillars to building confidence in general is understanding the process and the public seems to be interested in understanding that for these vaccines, and it is a critical component to acceptance,” said Elizabeth Sobczyk, MSW, MPH, Director of Strategic Alliances at the Gerontological Society of America. “We have certainly started to get to a point of more transparency with more data.”
‘VacciNATION’ Launches to Provide Critical Education and Resources
The Partnership today also launched VacciNATION, an initiative aimed at ensuring that individuals and communities have access to the latest information and direct answers to key questions about vaccines for COVID-19. The launch includes an enhanced website with new resources, an informational video and comprehensive social media campaign. In the coming weeks and months, VacciNATION will expand outreach, as well as host local, state and national conversations to provide critical education.
Overall, VacciNATION is focused on the following core pillars:
- Vaccines are the key to bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- COVID-19 vaccines are being developed following all FDA requirements, involving thousands of volunteers from diverse backgrounds, to ensure the vaccines are safe and effective.
- COVID-19 vaccines must be accessible, affordable, and distributed equitably to all people who want to be vaccinated.
An initiative of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, PFID advances discussion and solutions to enhance pandemic preparedness, which includes the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance and the need for new treatments and vaccines to address infectious disease.
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Source: Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease
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