Local NAACP branch holds town hall event discussing vaccine hesitancy

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The NAACP’s Greater Terre Haute branch hosted a virtual town hall event on Monday to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccine debate in the community.

A panel of medical experts who can discuss vaccination processes and experiences will be available to answer questions about concerns people have. Features presenters will include:

  • Dr. Fred Feinsod: A Harvard Medical School graduate, practicing geriatrician and long-term care medical in Colorado
  • Lamont Robinson: A licensed practical nurse with three decades of clinical experience in the US Army at Fort Carson and Shreveport, La.
  • Ashlee Stewart: Representative from the Vigo County Health Department

“People have various reasons for their opposition to being vaccinated – often they are based in fear, or misinformation,” A. Theressa Bynum, NAACP communications committee chair, said. “Nevertheless, the reality is that there is a major surge in coronavirus infections that is getting worse, and the majority of hospitalized patients who do not survive are unvaccinated.”   

Robinson describes his experience with COVID-19 as “eye opening.”

“COVID-19 on a nurse level is one of those things we couldn’t google. (COVID) is not to be underestimated. The development of a vaccine has given us a fighting chance,” He added.

According to Ashlee Stewart with the Vigo County Health Department, 1842 African Americans are vaccinated. That only accounts for 26% of the black community.

Stewart adds that numbers among men are lower between age 35-39.

“I’m not okay with that, I think that we can do better. Our kids deserve better. We got to stand up and get this done. I don’t think the worse has come,” She said “I think it’ll come around Veterans Day,”

Leaders and health officials discussed to continue on how to interact with more people and answer questions in more populated areas.

Bynum said on-going discussions would be a key in increasing vaccination numbers.

“We have to make it more personal, people need to have confidence in the people that tell their stories. Apparently the statistics and the number of people dying is not making a difference to so many people,” Bynum said, “Aren’t we done dying yet?” Bynum asked. “We have the means to stop the spread of the infection, and we must exercise the will to do it.”

To receive a link to the event, send a request email to thrssw.gen@outlook.com with the subject line “Emergency Town Hall”.

Forum organizers expect to host similar styled events in the future.

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