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Scientific experts, including Virginia doctors launch virtual town halls to answer COVID-19 vaccine questions

Moderna Vaccine
Posted at 3:03 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 20:48:06-04

Scientific experts from across the United States will be answering the public's questions on the COVID-19 vaccine as more vaccines become available.

The experts include virologists, infectious disease specialists and medical doctors. They are launching a series of virtual town halls to answer your questions.

A release from UVA Health said, "The effort aims to bring factual, scientific information to people across the country, particularly communities of color that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Questions about safety, speed of vaccine development, side effects, efficacy and new variants will be answered with the latest scientific information."

The program is called “COVID-19 Vaccine Education,” and it is sponsored by the American Society for Virology and the American Society of Microbiology, two of the nation’s leading professional organizations in the area of infectious diseases.

The town halls will be hosted by pairs or groups of experts, and the sessions will run about 45 minutes. The series kicks off at 8 p.m., Monday with additional events on March 24, 25, 26 and 30.

On March 30, a town hall will be hosted by Dan Engel, PhD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and UVA Health’s Ebony Hilton, MD, who volunteered to receive the first vaccine at UVA to demonstrate it was safe and effective. She documented her experiences with the vaccine on social media.

“In an age where most people get their information at a distance, we wanted to find a way to connect with people more directly,” said Engel. Engel and Dean Kedes, MD, PhD, both of UVA’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology, are co-chairs of the town hall series, along with Felicia Goodrum, PhD, of the University of Arizona, and Mariano Garcia-Blanco, MD, PhD, of UTMB-Galveston.

You can watch the town hall on Monday by coming back to this story or watching live on the News 3 Facebook page at 8 p.m.

Click here for more COVID-19 vaccination information.