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As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out, some Hoosiers are still hesitant about getting their shots.

To help assure those on the fence, representatives from the Purdue University School of Nursing and College of Pharmacy and the Indiana University School of Medicine-West Lafayette will present “COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Need to Know,” a virtual event set for 1-2 p.m. ET April 1.

The event is being coordinated by Purdue Extension Health and Human Sciences. Registration is not required. Attendees need only to go here to participate.

“COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Need to Know” will feature short, research-based presentations from the panel of health experts followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session.

“There’s still, unfortunately, a lot of vaccine hesitancy out there,” said Eric Palmer, a clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing. “I’m hoping this event will answer a lot of questions.”

Palmer will present his expertise on the benefits of the vaccine, who can get it and why we need it in order to get “back to normalcy.” He will be joined by:

  • Nicole Noel, director of Purdue Pharmacy and clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice.
  • Greg Loomis, assistant professor of neurosurgery for the Indiana University School of Medicine-West Lafayette.
  • Siena Cooper, MD candidate at Indiana University School of Medicine-West Lafayette and Purdue College of Pharmacy alumni.

The panel will focus on the three major vaccines currently available: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Panelists will also discuss barriers to getting the vaccines.

Palmer, who served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps for 22 years, specializes in nursing and health care administration and leadership. He has overseen nursing students administering vaccines for years, first with flu shots and now with COVID-19. He hopes the work his program has done the past few months will influence Hoosiers to receive the vaccine. 

“We’re just here to help in the most generous sense of the word possible,” Palmer said. “We want to make sure people have the information they need to be able to make the decision to move forward to get the vaccine — or at least to better understand it.”

Marion Underwood, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, knows there are different reasons people may be hesitant about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. “What You Need to Know” should address those reasons and inform any concerns.

Marion Underwood

“A year ago, we all faced fear and a lot of unknowns about COVID-19. Now, we have vaccines scientifically proven in clinical trials to be safe and effective in helping our bodies develop immunity to the virus,” Underwood said. “Hopefully, more people will feel encouraged to be vaccinated as vaccines become even more available in Indiana. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to follow the guidelines outlined by the Indiana Department of Health, especially masking and social distancing, to force this virus to subside in our state.”

More information about the event can be found online at purdue.edu/hhs/covid-vaccine.