Panelists — who include physicians as well as public health and social services experts from Latino and Black backgrounds — will discuss the COVD-19 vaccine during a virtual presentation Friday, March 5, noon to 1 p.m.

The Children’s Study Home, in partnership with the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, is hosting the event that is viewed as an opportunity for people of color in particular to ask questions as cumulative national data shows them to have higher rates of hospitalization from COVID-19 than whites and lower rates of getting vaccinated for a variety of reasons.

Panelists include Ronn Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services; Dr. Sarah Perez McAdoo, populational health capstone director at the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate; Dr. Miguel Rodriguez, a Holyoke Medical Center pulmonologist who has treated patients with COVID-19 symptoms since the start of the pandemic in early 2019, and Frank Robinson, who holds a doctorate in public health and is vice president of public health and community relations for Baystate Health.

Jessica Collins, PHIWM executive director, will serve as moderator.

The state’s immunization program against the respiratory virus began mid-December, and current data shows vaccination share for Latinos in Massachusetts, who comprise 12 percent of the population, to be 5 percent of those immunized to date. Vaccination share for blacks in Massachusetts, who comprise 7 percent of the population, is said to be 6 percent of those immunized to date.

The vaccination share of whites in Massachusetts, who comprise 70 percent of the population, is said to be 81 percent of those vaccinated so far in the state against SARS-CoV-2.

The discussion, “The COVID Vaccine: Personal & Professional Perspectives Within African American and Latino Communities” will be live streamed on YouTube by PHIWM.

A link will be shared prior to the event with those who register.

The Children’s Study Home, headed by William Davila, a licensed clinical social worker with a doctorate in education, is a nonprofit that serves children, adolescents, and families with special needs throughout the Pioneer Valley, the Berkshires and Cape Cod areas.

PHIWM’s goals include ending racial, economic and other inequities that prevent building healthier communities across all populations.

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