The FDA has granted emergency use authorization to the first COVID-19 vaccine heralded as a vital tool in saving lives and helping return life to normal in the United States.
But even with the anticipated arrival of the vaccines, the road ahead is still long and complicated, and the questions are many. Many of those concerns surround the vaccines themselves. The ABC Owned Television Stations group addressed these questions during a special digital Town Hall, "The Shot: Race for the Vaccine," hosted by Dr. Jen Ashton, ABC's chief medical correspondent.
Dr. Jen was joined by a team of experts on Dec. 14 for a discussion about the vaccines. The Town Hall streamed live at 6 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Central/3 p.m. Pacific on the websites and connected TV apps of the ABC owned stations: WABC in New York; WPVI in Philadelphia; WTVD in Raleigh-Durham; WLS in Chicago; KTRK in Houston; KABC in Los Angeles, KFSN in Fresno; and KGO in San Francisco.
Meet the panelists who joined Dr. Jen:
ICU Nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (Registered Nurse, CCRN Certification)
Location: New York
At Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC), Jeffrey is known as "the go-to player," someone who has made it his business to know everything he needs to know about every patient in a unit where extra compassion, understanding and respect for what patients and families are going through are crucial. He is dedicated to inspiring and teaching new nurses to share his passion and expertise. He coaches, mentors and serves as a role model for his peers. Jeffrey lectures the hemodynamics portion of the nursing fellowship curriculum and shares his passion for work he does daily
Jennifer Jones Austin
Chief executive officer and executive director, FPWA
Location: New York
Jennifer Jones Austin, a child and family advocate, is chief executive officer and executive director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare
Agencies (FPWA), an anti-poverty, policy and advocacy organization with 170 member human services agencies operating throughout New York City. Prior to joining FPWA, she served as Senior Vice President of United Way of New York City, Family Services Coordinator for Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Commissioner for the NYC Administration for Children's Services, Civil Rights Deputy Bureau Chief for Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, and Vice President for LearnNow/Edison Schools. She's also part of a task force to ensure Black New Yorkers get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Chairman and co-founder of Gold House
Location: Los Angeles
Bing Chen is an entrepreneur, creator, and community builder. He is the general partner and co-founder of AUM Group, a multicultural film fund; and chairman and co-founder of Gold House, a collective of pioneering Asian founders, creative voices, and leaders dedicated to forging stronger bonds that enable the Asian diaspora to unlock more authentic, more successful, and longer lives for all.
Dr. Whitney Lyn
Family medicine physician at Cook County Health
Dr. Whitney Lyn is a Family Medicine Specialist in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago. She told us:
"As a female African American physician at the busiest and largest public health system in the Midwest, I have seen first-hand how the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected communities of color. The 95% effectiveness found in the clinical trials proves that by getting the vaccine, you'll not only save your life, but the lives of your family and your community. Everyone asks me what it is like to be on the frontline during this pandemic, but I consider health care workers the last line. The community is the frontline and we are asking the community to help
us battle this pandemic."
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The Shot: Race for the Vaccine Town Hall with Dr. Jen Ashton