LEXINGTON, Ky. — Doctors and experts from UK HealthCare provided an in-person and virtual COVID-19 Vaccine Community Town Hall event.

Residents from Fayette County who are hesitant about the vaccine were encouraged to participate to get their concerns addressed. 

What You Need To Know

  • UK experts hosted a virtual COVID-19 Vaccine Community Town Hall

  • UK HealthCare partnered with eight community centers in Fayette County to live stream the event

  • Experts answered questions and concerns about the vaccines 

  • Participants were able to sign up for their vaccine shot after the event

As the number of vaccinated Kentuckians continues to rise, some community members still have questions and concerns about getting their shot. 

Tukea Talbert, Chief Diversity Officer for UK HealthCare, hosted a virtual panel with other experts to help answer questions about some of those concerns.

“This is looking at priority populations of vulnerable populations and individuals and communities of color. That continues to be somewhat hesitant to get the vaccine,” Talbert said.

The virtual COVID-19 Vaccine Community Town Hall event was held online and live-streamed for in-person participation at eight different community centers within Fayette county. 

Talbert said they chose these locations because they believe these centers are places that community members feel comfortable in. 

“Now that the portals have all been open to everybody and there's a broader base of individuals, it's a broader stroke of the community that will now be engaged and eligible to sign up for the vaccines, we feel like we need to have persistency on our messaging to continue to reach out to people and get them where they are,” Talbert said. 

When the event concluded, community members were encouraged to schedule an appointment to get their COVID-19 vaccine. 

Vince Venditto, assistant professor with UK's College of Pharmacy said in situations like this, hesitation is normal. It’s up to the experts and doctors to help ease those concerns.

“Anytime anything like this does happen, there is some hesitancy and there's some concern. And I think part of this is because not everybody is aware of how, you know, clinical trials are run and how once a drug is approved how post-approval processing or in its with an emergency use authorization how this continues to be monitored,” Venditto said. 

Another assistant professor in the UK college of pharmacy, Trenika Mitchell said she wants community members to think about getting the vaccine, not only to protect themselves but to keep their loved ones safe. 

“You know when it came to getting the shot of course I’m a healthcare worker so I needed to think about that. It was about me but it wasn't about me either at the same rate, because I had my patients, I had to worry about and I thought about my family members,” Mitchell said.