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Health officials host webinar to dispel myths and share facts about the COVID-19 vaccine

The rush to get more people vaccinated comes as new strains of COVID spread in Indiana - strains that are more contagious and possibly more deadly.

INDIANAPOLIS — There's a big push to get as many people vaccinated as possible in Marion County, especially people of color, who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. 

MDwise, Eskenazi Health and the Marion County Public Health Department teamed up to offer a free webinar Wednesday to help tackle myths and misconceptions about the coronavirus vaccines. It was streamed live on Zoom and Facebook.

"As health leaders, we're coming together to help members of our community become better informed about the COVID-19 vaccines," said Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department.

Panelists took questions from the community.

According to a recent study from the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly 40 percent of Americans said they will wait or are altogether unsure about getting a vaccine.

That's why health leaders believe events like Wednesday's webinar are so important.

Torriaun Everett, MDWise vice president of health plan operations, said, "It's not to pressure anyone, it's not to force the vaccine," on anyone, it's to educate people on how it works and to answer questions.

Everett said some of the myths making the rounds claim the vaccine leads to infertility, causes physical deformities, and/or changes a person's DNA - all of which are false.

But he said another comment he hears quite a bit is true.

"When you have been vaccinated, can you still get COVID-19? Yes, that is a fact. However, your chances of dying are dramatically decreased," Everett said.

The rush to get more people vaccinated comes as new strains of COVID spread in Indiana - strains that are more contagious and possibly more deadly.

"We all are at risk and have to do our part to help end this thing and protect one another," Everett said.