It has been over a year since COVID-19 transformed the way we live our lives today. As we try to move into post-COVID times, we still find ourselves uncertain about the future. Part of this new future involves the COVID-19 vaccine.
Now that the vaccine has become available to everyone, the concerns about both the long-term and short-term effects of the vaccine have risen immensely, causing this decision to become increasingly difficult for some people.
In light of the concerns surrounding the vaccine, my Public Relations Campaigns class decided to base our campaign around providing neutral and helpful information about the vaccine to our fellow students in order to help them make a well-informed decision, whether they decide to get the vaccine or not.
We created an Instagram account with the handle @huvaxfacts, where for the last month, we’ve been compiling and releasing information on the questions and misconceptions students have had about the vaccine, as well as sharing testimonials from students who have received the vaccine. Since we do not admit to knowing everything about the vaccine, we do not expect everyone to take us at our word. Rather, our hope is that our research encourages others to do their own research so that they can make an educated decision.
Since we are not experts, we have decided to host a panel next Thursday with two health science professionals, a dean of the University, and a fellow student who can help answer more questions in real time that people may have about both the vaccine and Harding’s ongoing response to COVID-19.
These panel members include Dr. Julie Hixson-Wallace, who is associate provost, as well as the head of the on-campus vaccine clinics provided by her connection with the Arkansas Department of Health; Dr. Landry Kamdem, associate professor of pharmacy at Harding; Zach Neal, dean of students at Harding and member of the COVID-19 task force; and Alyson White, a senior molecular and cellular biology major who participated in the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial.
The vaccine is the latest attempt at transitioning back into a time we haven’t seen in over a year, and our class hopes that you continue to do the necessary research to make a well-informed decision that leaves us all hopeful for a tomorrow that’s a bit more familiar. I encourage all of you to come to the panel next Thursday, April 22, from 2:30-4 p.m. at the Midnight Oil stage. Our hope is that those who attend will learn from those who are speaking so they can have their questions about both the vaccine and the efforts of Harding answered in real time.