For over a year, COVID-19 has dominated our news headlines. Now, there is an acute focus on vaccines — eligibility, accessibility, and availability — which public health experts say is critical to ending the pandemic.

The San Diego Press Club presented a one-hour virtual forum of public health experts and community leaders on Wednesday, April 14. The panel included:

Susan R. Bailey, MD, President, American Medical Association. Dr. Bailey is an allergist/immunologist from Fort Worth, Texas, and was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020.

Wilma J. Wooten, MD, MPH, Public Health Officer and Director of Public Health Services, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. Dr. Wooten has a strong interest in health disparities and health equity. She is a current board member and past president (2013-15) of the Health Officers Association of California.

Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Reporter, The San Diego Union-Tribune. She covers the neighborhoods of the city of San Diego for The San Diego Union-Tribune. She currently serves as president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists San Diego-Tijuana chapter

Moderator: Susan Taylor, External Affairs Director, Scripps Health. Taylor is currently a marketing/communications executive at Scripps Health. She is a former TV news anchor/reporter/producer in Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

The panelists discussed:

  • The prevalence of and reasons for vaccine hesitancy
  • The challenge of communicating to diverse audiences
  • How to empower your audiences to be part of the solution
  • What is the role of journalists and communicators
  • How do you expand your sourcing under deadline

About the event:

Attendees will come away with a better understanding of the science, logistics, and potential concerns of the vaccination process and the pandemic more broadly. Panelists will also address challenges recognized among residents of traditionally underserved communities, share the work being done in neighborhoods to help residents overcome vaccine hesitancy, and what can improve to encourage residents to become immunized.

This is an on-the-record discussion and news media are invited to cover.

This event is free to attend, with an optional donation of $10 suggested to cover the nonprofit’s programming and operational costs. Click here to register

Event Sponsor:

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