COVID-19 vaccination education

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Jessica Kingston is North Memorial Health’s System Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Her work is focused on strengthening workforce strategies to foster a supportive culture and an environment where customers can achieve their best health.

Dr. Meetul Shah is a family medicine physician and Chief Medical Informatics Officer at North Memorial Health. He uses evidence-guided medical recommendations and encourages maximal lifestyle interventions to help customers in meeting their personal health goals.

Question: What are the top concerns around the COVID-19 vaccines that are holding people back from receiving it?

Jessi says:

In the Black community, we first need to acknowledge the understandable mistrust of medicine and healthcare that dates back hundreds of years. There have been countless medical experiments conducted upon Black people that caused both physical and emotional harm such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and the forced sterilization of Black women. It’s not surprising that recent studies have shown they’re less likely to want to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

At North Memorial Health, our doctors are educated on these important historical considerations. They are committed to listening to everyone’s concerns, directly addressing their fears, and helping everyone better understand the important research and recommendations.

Dr. Shah says:

I hear many concerns about the speed in which the COVID-19 vaccines were developed. The truth is:*

  • The COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be safe and effective. 
  • The technology used to develop the mRNA vaccines isn’t new—it’s been studied for decades.
  • Clinical trials were conducted with the same rigor as any vaccine, and the results were reviewed and approved by many appropriate authorities—including the FDA.
  • Increased collaboration, increased urgency and increased funding meant that the vaccine developers could work quickly.

Another medical myth we’re hearing is around pregnancy and fertility. The truth is:*

  • There is currently NO evidence that any vaccines—including COVID-19 vaccines—cause fertility problems.
  • COVID-19 infection puts pregnant people at increased risk of severe illness and even death compared with non-pregnant people.
  • Vaccination is the best method to reduce maternal and fetal complications of COVID-19 infection among pregnant people.

Question: Where should I look for trusted information, and to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated?

Dr. Shah says:

I find my information at the source—the data and facts issued by the CDC. The CDC has been our #1 established resource on health promotion, prevention and preparedness for many decades, and they continue to be my most trusted resource on vaccine education and guidance.

The team at North Memorial Health is also helping share the facts through our YouTube channel and on our website,

Question: How can community members get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Dr. Shah says:

We encourage community members to use the Vaccine Connector to find a vaccine location near you.

* For more detailed information about the COVID-19 vaccines, considering reading the following from the CDC.

— Information provided by North Memorial Center.