Texas Tech University System addresses COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in virtual town hall discussion

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 7:49 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Texas Tech University System held a virtual town hall discussion today, This is Your Shot: Vaccine Facts & Science.

Health experts gathered to discuss the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine and some of the reasons people are avoiding the vaccine.

They said with the Delta variant they are seeing more people become hospitalized and more younger people being infected.

Doctors say those who are vaccinated are still getting COVID-19, however it is those who are unvaccinated that are being hospitalized and needing severe treatment.

They say the majority of those who are being hospitalized with severe symptoms are those who are unvaccinated.

“The current vaccines that we have are still effective at preventing serious infections including hospitalizations and death,” said Dr. Richard Lange, TTUHSC El Paso President.

Dr. Ronald Cook, TTUHSC Chief Health Officer says those who have concerns over side effects from taking the vaccine to understand they are rare and health officials know how to treat them.

They said they have gave 357 million doses of this vaccine and have had a very low amount of any abnormal reactions.

“It is only three people that have died from the COVID vaccine and that was early on when we saw blood clots come up and three people have died from that and we know how to treat this,” said Dr. Cook.

They say those who are questioning if young, healthy children should be vaccinated they believe the answer is yes if they are eligible for the vaccine.

“It’s very well studied and in general for most people the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks, so for the young, otherwise healthy it’s important to receive the vaccination for his or her own health, to avoid spread to others and to avoid the possibility of prolonged symptoms once infected,” said Dr. David Edwards, medical director of Student Health Services.

The topic of the vaccine effecting fertility was also brought up and health experts say the vaccine does not impact one’s fertility.

“The body of organization that I look up to the American College of OBGYN has really pretty firmly has said the claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to infertility are really quite unfounded,” said Dr. Sireesha Reddy, chief of obstetrics and gynecology and women’s health practice medical director, TTUHSC El Paso.

They also said it is safe for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding to get the vaccine as well.

Health experts believe the benefits of receiving the vaccine outweigh any possible risks of the vaccine.

Dr. Jeff Dennis, TTUHSC, Assistant Professor of Public Health believes it is important to health experts to listen to the community’s concerns about the vaccine and then provide them with the facts to back it up.

They emphasize the best way to stop the spread we are currently facing is by being vaccinated.

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