To help answer questions on COVID-19 and vaccines, doctors in North Texas are hosting online events where the public is invited to join live discussions.
The North Texas Medical Society Coalition represents more than 11,500 physicians. The coalition was founded in 2020 and used Facebook live events to talk to people about any questions they may have on the COVID-19 pandemic. Their next event on Tuesday night will focus on vaccine boosters.
Dr. Robert Rogers of Fort Worth said one of the most common questions he gets is when someone should get a booster.
“And if they should get the same boosters that they had in their primary series, which I think has been a little confusing to people. Actually, I think it’s nice you can choose to get whatever booster you want to get,” Dr. Rogers explained.
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According to the CDC, more than 21 million people in the U.S. have already received a booster shot. Data as of Friday shows about 222.6 million people, or 67% of the total U.S. population, have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. That figure will likely rise as 28 million children between 5 and 11 are now eligible for the vaccine.
For people ages 12 years or older, 78.4% have received at least one dose of vaccine and 68.1% are fully vaccinated.
“The gap is closing. It’s closing more slowly than we would want, but it’s definitely closing. I know it makes sense. A lot of the people that were hesitant to get the vaccine were not in general anti-vaccination. They are nervous about the newness of this one and how little we knew,” Rogers said. “This idea of boosters is not new. Your immune system responds better to multiple exposures to the organism that you’re trying to fight.”
Some providers like MedStar plan to administer COVID-19 vaccines to children between 5 and 11 next week. Spokesperson Matt Zavadsky said they acknowledge there may still be some hesitancy.
“Your doctor knows you, knows your family, knows your kiddo and can really give you the best advice. They’re really well tuned to all of the science and they can really help you make the right decision,” he said.
As for the Facebook live events hosted by the medical society coalition, Rogers said their goal is to educate.
“There’s going to be a small hardcore group of people who just won’t do it [vaccinate], but there’s a much broader group of people who have really legitimate questions that need to be answered,” he said.
For more information on the coalition, click here.