Greenville church holds virtual panel, doctors answer questions about COVID-19 vaccine

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Doctors from Vidant Medical Center spent part of their Tuesday answering questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s in an effort to make people feel more comfortable getting their shots when it’s time.

Church leaders at Sycamore Hill Missionary Baptist hold virtual fellowship events every few months. On Tuesday, that fellowship focused on the COVID vaccine and hearing from local medical professionals about it.

“Whatever decision you make, you at least want to make an informed decision about it,” said Pastor James Alexander of Sycamore Hill Missionary Baptist Church.

That’s exactly what Alexander wants members of his congregation to do when it comes to the COVID vaccine.

“We’ve had a lot of losses,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of individuals who are still dealing with side effects from COVID-19. We just want people to be safe at this point.”

Church leaders put together a panel of Vidant Health doctors to answer questions.

“They may be able to debunk a number of those rumors and myths that are out there,” said Alexander. “Hopefully, people will walk away with more comfort in the decision-making that they have to take.”

Doctors discussed topics from vaccine scams to the hesitancy within marginalized communities over getting the shots.

“It’s rooted in some very dark spots in our country’s history, in our professional history and I think it’s really, really important that we try not to hide from that, that we have open, honest conversations,” said Dr. Niti Armistead, chief medical officer at Vidant.

Alexander says most of his congregation already signed up to get the vaccine, but some members still have their doubts. He’s hopeful those people will walk away with the answers they’re looking for after Tuesday night’s event.

“We’re not trying to sway persons one way or the other,” he said. “We just want to make sure you have the information at hand.”

Vidant doctors say they hope this will be just one of many meetings they have with community members to discuss the vaccine.

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