California pediatrician's initiative combats misinformation, dispels myths for the unvaccinated

Anabel Munoz Image
Saturday, August 14, 2021
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A doctor wants people to remember the unvaccinated don't fit in a box, and her program aims to address their questions and concerns regarding the COVID vaccine.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dr. Rhea Boyd, a public health advocate and pediatrician, wants people to remember the unvaccinated don't fit in a box.

"The unvaccinated are not some monstrous monolith. This is not a group of folks who is primarily averse to vaccination. They're not anti-science," Boyd said.

She explains the largest group who are unvaccinated are children who are not yet eligible, adding that among adults, those who have not been vaccinated are more likely to be between the ages of 18 and 50, make less than $40,000 and "who are Black or Latinx and lack health insurance."

Boyd co-created an initiative where trusted health-care professionals can help spread accurate information and dispel myths.

"A formal and informal way of people being able to talk to health-care providers who look like them about their questions and concerns regarding the COVID vaccines," she said.

The Conversation: Between Us About Us has garnered millions of views with the support of Black and Latino health-care professionals, and even big names like sociopolitical comedian W. Kamau Bell. There's a section on their website with dozens of videos in English and Spanish people can find answers to frequently asked questions. Boyd calls it a healthy rabbit hole.

This is her advice to families with children who cannot get vaccinated: "For all the kiddos who just are too young to get vaccinated, we need to make sure that everyone around them is masking, including all the kids above age 2. That helps limit COVID spread in crowded indoor settings, like school will be come this fall."

The collaboration between the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Black Coalition Against COVID and Unidos US has also reached thousands through virtual town halls.

"Five of the events so far and about 5,000 people stay on the line. And it's almost like calling in live to the radio," Boyd said. "We say 'you're live on air, ask your question to the provider,' and we've been able to speak to thousands of people in the South, too, which is an area of the country that has some of the lowest vaccination rates."