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By examining the decision-making journeys of people deciding whether or not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, community leaders and public health experts have the opportunity to learn and understand in real-time. Here, we are exploring the intersection of public health, lived experience, and community engagement.


3 takeaways from Facilitator Nadine Tafoya’s vaccine discussions with Native American communities

“Some of the folks were hesitant to get vaccines [because of] their historical experience and distrust of the federal government.”


Facilitator Mary Davis on the journey from vaccine hesitant to hopeful

"One woman said, ‘I was nervous because I'd been so hesitant, and I've now got the vaccine, and I thought I was going to be the only one.’”

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Facilitator Michael Hughes talks vaccine barriers and motivators in Latinx communities

“If you put together values and experience, the Latinx community should be leading in vaccination rates, but the truth is that they're not.”

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Psychologist Billie Kipp on Native Americans’ COVID experience

“We've had smallpox, we've had measles. We've had things that were placed on us by mainstream society in order to kill us and wipe us out.”

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Facilitator Robin Roberts on common themes in the Black community’s vaccine experience

“Once matriarchs and patriarchs of their families got the vaccine, there was a level of influence that they had within their family.”


Dr. Dan Salmon on COVID-19 vaccine passports and mandates

"There's a time and a place for some mandates, and I think they need to be used carefully and they need to be used sparingly."

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Dr. Joshua Sharfstein on vaccine decision-making

"People reassess the decision. They learn. They talk to friends and family, and they change their mind. One of the early learnings is not to be overconfident or over-panicked based on a single point in time."

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Rev. Pamula Yerby-Hammack on COVID’s impact on worship

Rev. Pamula Yerby-Hammack offers a short prayer and talks about how her church community has evolved during COVID.


A conversation about COVID’s impact on Native American communities

Three public health professionals focused on American Indian health share their insights into and experiences with COVID in their communities.

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Dr. Joshua Sharfstein on working at the local level in communities

“Work in the short term is all about the local level…really mobilizing the strength of communities for this really important purpose - keeping people alive.”

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Facilitator Robin Roberts on the Serena Williams Effect

“What I found was really an issue here was, ‘If I go in, and if I have one of these side effects is really persistent, will my health provider really listen to me? Will they actually hear what I'm saying?’”



With Reverend Larry Walker, Roger Bernier and Robin Roberts

A discussion on what's missing in community engagement currently, and what genuine public engagement looks like moving forward.


On Vaccine Hesitancy and Barriers to Information

“When people have hesitancy to get vaccinated, it comes from a place of wanting to know more and wanting to get the right information that’s culturally appropriate and in their language.” — Elizabeth Velasco

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Historical Trauma in Latinx Communities

Maria Del Pilar Montes presents information on historical trauma in the Latinx community.


Dr. Dan Salmon on what we’re learning from the vaccine rollout

"People are talking about trust in public health and trusting government and how it's such a problem, and the way that you solve that problem is to work with communities and people and be their partner.”


Facilitator Nadine Tafoya reflects on the impact of COVID on Native American communities

“[Native American communities] rely on the science, and yes, they listen to guidelines from officials, but in our heart of hearts, we're still relying on our traditional ways and our practices to make us strong and resilient.”


COVID-19 Vaccines and the Opportunity to Build Trust Between Health Care Institutions and the Black Community

Public Health on Call interviews Rev. Dr. Terris King, pastor of Liberty Grace Church of God and former Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services minority health director, and Hopkins immunization policy expert Lois Privor-Dumm.


How Public Health Departments can Exhibit Trustworthiness to Communities Dealing with Historical Trauma

Three community leaders share their view on how public health departments can better serve communities where historical trauma is a factor.

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