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Ohio Health Officials Tackle COVID-19 Vaccine Myths In Virtual Town Halls

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) wants to combat misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine by hosting town halls targeting specific, underserved communities and their questions over the next two weeks.

“It is important to share reliable, factual information about COVID-19 vaccines with all Ohioans,” said ODH Director Stephanie McCloud in an emailed statement.

“These vaccines are safe and effective. There are many myths about vaccines and about the COVID-19 vaccine, in particular. Having questions answered with credible information can impact whether someone chooses to get the vaccine," McCloud said.

The virtual town halls are aimed at addressing questions and vaccine misinformation among Ohioans who are African American, Hispanic and Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and those who live in rural parts of the state. 

Panelists, which included medical experts and community leaders, also addressed questions about side effects, clinical trials, the science behind the vaccine, and how to get it.

"The process involved did not take a shortcut on quality,” said Dr. Leon McDougle, chief diversity officer at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, at Monday’s town hall. “There has been robust oversight."

They will be held on Monday and Tuesday evenings, this week and next week.

  • Monday, Feb. 22, 6:30 p.m. – African-American Ohioans
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. – Hispanic/Latino Ohioans
  • Monday, March 1, 6:30 p.m. – Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Ohioans
  • Tuesday, March 2, 6:30 p.m. – Rural Ohioans


The sessions will be live-streamed on the ODH Facebook and YouTube pages, and on the Ohio Department of Health website.

Even though they are targeted at specific communities, they are open to everyone. 

The town halls will also be replayed on television on the Ohio Channel starting Saturday:

  • Saturday, Feb. 27, 6 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for African-Americans
  • Saturday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Hispanic/Latino Americans
  • Sunday, Feb. 28, 2 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for African-Americans
  • Sunday, Feb. 28, 3 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Hispanic/Latino Americans
  • Saturday, March 6, 6 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Ohioans
  • Saturday, March 6, 7 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Rural Ohioans
  • Sunday, March 7, 2 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Ohioans
  • Sunday, March 7, 3 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Rural Ohioans

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