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AARP Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall, April 1, 2021

Experts answer your questions related to COVID-19

Coronavirus TTH - 040121 1 PM – Coronavirus and the Black Community: Your Vaccine Questions

Shani Hosten: Hello, I am AARP Vice President Shani Hosten, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about coronavirus. Before we begin, if you would like to listen to this telephone town hall in Spanish, please press *0 on your telephone keypad. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. Today, we're going to discuss the latest on the pandemic, vaccine safety and access and what the continued distribution of vaccines means for the Black community. We're having this discussion as data continues to show that Black Americans are being hit harder by the pandemic, and the vaccine access, while it's improving, we know has not been equitable. We have distinguished experts on hand today to answer your critical questions.

For those of you joining us on the phone, if you would like to ask your question about the coronavirus pandemic, please press *3 on your telephone to be connected with an AARP staff member, who will note your name and your question and place you in a queue to ask that question live. And if you would like to listen to this telephone town-hall in Spanish, press *0 on your telephone keypad now. If you're joining us on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comments.

Today, we're so grateful to have some outstanding leaders joining us from the National Medical Association, the National League of Cities and the American Psychological Association. We will also be joined by AARP's COVID-19 Vaccine Education, Multicultural Engagement lead Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey who will help facilitate your call. This event is being recorded today, and you can access the recording at aarp.org/coronavirus 24 hours after we end our call today.

So now I would like to welcome our guests, Dr. Rachel Villanueva is the president-elect of the National Medical Association, where she's taking over the reins this coming July, and she'll be representing 50,000 African American physicians and the patients they serve, and is the leading force for parity and justice in medicine and the elimination of disparities in health. Welcome, Dr. Villanueva.

Rachel Villanueva: Thank you.

Shani Hosten: Next, we have Mr. Clarence Anthony. He's the CEO, chief executive officer, and executive director of the National League of Cities, which represents more than 2,000 cities across the country. Under his leadership, NLC has advanced policies that make race and equity a priority. Thanks for joining us and welcome back, Mr. Anthony.

Clarence Anthony: Thank you very much, and thanks for having me.

Shani Hosten: And next we have Dr. Arthur Evans. He's the chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association, the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with more than 121,000 members. Thank you for being here, Dr. Evans.

Arthur Evans: Thank you. I'm honored to be here.

Shani Hosten: So now, let's get started with our discussion. OK, now let's hear from our experts. I'd like to start with a question for all of you. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on older people of color, and as the vaccines become more available, what is the most important thing you think people should know? And I'll start the conversation with Dr. Villanueva and then move on to Dr. Anthony, Mr. Anthony and Dr. Evans. So Dr. Villanueva?

Rachel Villanueva: Thank you so much, Shani, and thank you for having the National Medical Association be part of this conversation. I think it's difficult to say what is the one important thing. So I'm just going to touch on a few important things as most doctors will not just tell you just one thing. I think very important for everyone to keep in mind is that the pandemic is still very much a public health crisis. And so, although we're very optimistic with the advent of new technologies and the vaccines and people getting vaccinated, I think we really do have to keep in mind that the crisis is still here, and we still need to be very careful and very vigilant about being safe, vaccinated or not. I think it's also important to just keep in mind that the risk for severe illness associated with COVID-19 increases with increasing age. So older adults are at the highest risk, older adults that are at highest risk for requiring hospitalization and dying, unfortunately. And we know that 80 percent of COVID-19-related deaths are related to individuals that are 65 years or older. And then also, if you have an underlying medical problem or additional medical problem, like high blood pressure or diabetes, or even obesity, even being over your ideal body weight, that will also put you at an even higher risk for COVID-19 severe disease. And then finally, we also know that the risk in our community, in the Black community, is increased for hospitalizations three times and for death two times the average population in the United States. So we need to keep all of those things really at the forefront, even though we know that the vaccines will help us to get back to normal life, that we need to still be very careful and do all of those practices, the strategies that keep us safe, wearing our mask, washing our hands, avoiding touching our eyes and nose and mouth, social distancing, and then lastly, getting vaccinated when it's available to you. Please, please get vaccinated.

Shani Hosten: So thank you so much, Dr. Villanueva, for sharing those important tips and things for us to be mindful of and to continue to keep in mind as we are still, as you mentioned, are in the pandemic. So I'll go on to Mr. Anthony. If you would like to weigh in on that question, what's the most important thing you think people should know?

Clarence Anthony: Well, again, thank you AARP for having us back in this important conversation on behalf of the National League of Cities, and all of our municipal leaders, mayors, council members all over America. This is an important issue because we want to make sure that our communities are recovering and, in fact, become more vibrant and thriving as we go through this challenging time. There are a couple of things that I think is important to frame this conversation. And let's just really be direct because it is an important time in our nation. You know, it's three to four times Black people tend to get the coronavirus disease, than our white colleagues. That's a fact. And we also are dying at a higher rate, twice that of other populations. And we're lagging behind in regards to getting the vaccine, as a percentage of the population in most every city in America.

And so, I want to just say straight out, there is this concern that we don't want to be used as a guinea pig, especially our elderly population. So I know that we have to really talk about that today, but I also want to encourage us, that we want to live a healthy and long life. So, this conversation today is about getting you information on ways to do that. Thank you.

Shani Hosten: Absolutely, and thank you, Mr. Anthony, for sharing that, because the information definitely is powerful and helps us to make those informed decisions. So I want to move on to Dr. Evans, for him to weigh in, if you will. What's the most important thing you think people should know, Dr. Evans?

Arthur Evans: Well, again, thank you for inviting me. The American Psychological Association has been very involved in this issue since the very beginning, the pandemic, and really looking at both the psychological impact, and the impact that the pandemic is having on people, as well as some of the behavioral issues, and I'll talk a minute about that. From a mental health standpoint, we know that the pandemic has had a very significant impact on our mental health, just generally. We do a survey each year called Stress in America and during the pandemic, we actually redid the survey several times just to see how people's stress levels were being affected by the pandemic. And immediately after the pandemic, we saw a spike for the first time; we've been doing this for many years, and we saw a spike in the overall stress levels of Americans that has stayed pretty high throughout the pandemic. When we asked people, about 80 percent, over 80 percent of people say that their mental health has been negatively affected by the pandemic. And then when we look at African Americans, in particular, the stress levels are even higher. And it's because of a confluence of not only the pandemic, you have the economic issues that for many people they have lost their jobs, you have the racial tensions that have happened and you have the disproportionate impact that the pandemic has had on the African American community. So when you add all of that up, it paints a picture of a community that is experiencing a lot of stress.

Our most recent surveys showed that people during the pandemic are gaining quite a bit of weight, typically about 15 pounds, and about 40 percent of the population, in general, have gained weight, about 20 percent have actually lost weight, undesired weight gain or weight loss. So this is already starting to have an impact, not only on our mental health, but on our physical health. People's sleep is also being disturbed — people sleeping more than they want or less than they want. And really concerning is that 25 percent of people are saying that they are drinking more to help cope with their stress. So what that says is that we really have to pay attention to our mental health as we go through this, that even after we are vaccinated, the mental health aspects of this are going to be with us for quite a bit of time.

And particularly in our community, in the African American community, it is really important to pay attention to these issues because our mental health affects our physical health, but it also affects ability in all our social and family networks. And so I would just really suggest that people be aware of what we're seeing in terms of the mental health impact and really take action to address some of the mental health challenges that we're experiencing.

Shani Hosten: So thank you, Dr. Evans, for sharing that important information regarding our mental health and other things that we're going to have to consider as we go through. Thanks each of you for weighing in on those topics, and we're going to dive deeper into some of that as we go through our conversation today.

It's clear that the pandemic is shedding light on racial disparities, and that existed long before this crisis, which has been really exacerbated by it. And I'd like to let our listeners know that AARP is focused on combating those disparities. We have advocated at the federal, state and local levels for greater data transparency, and actions to protect our residents and staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, especially as the data has shown that people of color in these facilities have been hit much harder. Also in places like New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, South Carolina, New Jersey and California, AARP is working to ensure more racial and ethnic data collection, outreach and testing for people of color, and seeking commitments from leaders to address underlying issues related to hunger, health access and transportation, and more. Across the country there's a consistent pattern of Black and Hispanic people receiving smaller shares of vaccinations, which was mentioned, compared to the share of cases and deaths they represent. And we cannot allow these disparities to grow. That's why we're working for equitable access to coronavirus vaccines and partnering with organizations like many of the ones that are represented here on this call today at the national, state and local levels to provide you with the latest information. And you can find out about this work and more at aarp.org/vaccineinfo.

On that note, Dr. Villanueva, with three vaccines being distributed in the United States, can you share with us how older adults and Black Americans were represented in the trials for the vaccines that are being distributed in the United States?

Rachel Villanueva: Thank you, that's an excellent, excellent question because obviously we know that even with other medications and vaccines, things may not affect different populations in the same way, so it is important for us to look at these different factors. So, as you said, there are three vaccines that received emergency use authorization and the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses, and the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine requires one dose. The trials for the Pfizer vaccine included 10 percent of the study population, which was about 44,000 individuals. So a very large study. Ten percent were African American, 41 percent were over the age of 56. For the Moderna, which was 32,000 individuals studied, 10 percent were Black and 25 percent of those were over the age of 65. Actually, I meant to say 65 for the Pfizer, not 56. My dyslexia. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine had 13 percent of the population was, of the individuals in the study population, were Black. And although it seems that that is a good number to have 10 to 13 percent, because that roughly reflects the number of Black Americans in the country, which is good, there's nothing bad about that. But when we really think of the increased number of individuals in our community affected by this pandemic, we actually would have wanted to see even more of a study population included, representative of how many of our individuals of our community are affected by the virus. But if we're looking at studies in general, I think they did a very good job of trying to have a good representation of Black Americans in the study.

Shani Hosten: So thanks, Dr. Villanueva. That's good and that's helpful to know. Very helpful. So Mr. Anthony, I want to go to you and with states and local communities being responsible for the vaccine rollout, what are local governments doing to ensure that people have equitable access to vaccines in their local communities?

Clarence Anthony: Yeah, thank you for that question, because I do think a lot of the data shows and talks about the distrust of the vaccine as the reason why Black Americans aren't or African Americans are not getting the vaccine. And part of that is true, but, you know, making sure that there's partnership with the health departments, the nonprofits, the church community, community-based organizations like the YMCA, is very, very important to addressing the real issue, and I think that is access to the vaccine. Making sure that city leaders and other partners are getting free rides to the vaccine sites, because a lot of the communities don't have the transportation options that others have. You know, we're saying be six feet away, be careful about what you touch, but we're saying, get on a bus, get on a train to get it. That's just not what our local leaders are proposing. They're trying to get the sites in the actual communities. And also, I think, cities in Minnesota, they're working with other companies to be able to survey the citizens and say, if in fact we get it, where should we put the sites in the community? So local leaders are trying to make sure we have vital information to share about the vaccine, where it is located. If you're a non-English speaking resident, how can we help you get the translation services?

What's more concerning to me, and I oftentimes don't think we focus on, is the rural communities, and the elderly that are in those communities. They really are uneasy about receiving the vaccine. They're concerned about the access, and they're concerned about their knowledge. So our city leaders, working with our partners, are working to make sure we focus on those small communities as well, those that are elderly in those communities. So there's a lot of work to do to build trust, but also the access is also very key.

Shani Hosten: Well, great. So thank you, Mr. Anthony, and thanks for all the work that you're doing there to provide that access. I want to move to Dr. Evans. And you've mentioned earlier, we've been living under this pandemic for over a year now. And what has been the impact on people's physical and mental health from the pandemic? You touched on that, but have Black Americans been impacted to an even greater degree?

Arthur Evans: Yes, African Americans have, and I think for several reasons. Generally speaking, when we look at stress levels in the African American community, they are higher than the rest of the population, in general. And what we've seen through the pandemic, because of the differential impact that the pandemic has had, that we continue to see that difference of African Americans having higher stress levels. But, you know, there's another piece that I think is really important to understand here. It's not just the pandemic. The pandemic in and of itself would be extremely stressful, but we've had some very horrific incidents concerning African Americans. What our surveys show is that those things affect African Americans, the Black community. The interesting thing is that a lot of the racial incidents that have happened against Black people have also been disturbing and stressful for white Americans as well, which was a surprise that there are over 50 percent of whites saying that these things were distressing for them, as well.

So, you know, it's that additive and layering of these different stressors that we're experiencing, and the isolation, the grief, people not being able to grieve. I've had losses in my own family. Many people have had losses in their family, some due to COVID, some not due to COVID. And not being able to grieve and those kinds of things. Those have an additive impact on us, and so it's really important to understand that, to be aware of that, and to take some steps. So the first thing, the thing that I put at the top of the list is social support. And all that means, is who are the people in our lives that give us support? That is one of the things that is the highest predictor of how well we do in life in general, but how well we do with our physical health, with our mental health. The more people that we have that can support us, the better. And one of the hopeful findings from our survey is that 84 percent of people said that using virtual or telephone or video calls, that those connections actually helped them. You know, there was some concern at the beginning of this, because we were saying on the one hand, social support is really important. On the other hand, don't spend time close to people. And so we were really cutting ourselves off from the things that typically help us. But during this period, where we do have to stay physically distant, we need to be very conscious about making a conscious effort to stay socially connected though media and through other mechanisms.

So I would put that at the top of the list. But also just doing some basic things around our own health, you know, proper eating, proper sleep, to the degree that people can get some physical activity. All of those things help with both our stress levels, but they also help some of the unhealthy things that we're seeing as a result of the pandemic, the weight gain, the sleep disturbances and so forth. So, the social support, doing the things to take care of ourselves physically and then the third thing that I would add to that is just being very intentional about doing pleasurable things, because one of the things that has happened during the pandemic is that people have stopped doing a lot of the things that they get pleasure from. And we know from the work we do with psychologists, and actually one of the strategies that we employ with people, is getting people to be very intentional about doing things that they get pleasure from. So I really encourage people to think about what are those things? And then how can I make those things happen even during this pandemic. That'll be helpful in terms of helping people to manage their stress and distress levels.

Shani Hosten: Great, great. Thank you so much, Dr. Evans, so very important with this focus on social support and really just self-care during this time. Very critical. Before we take questions from our members, we want to address an important issue, and it's been mentioned today. And we know that many of you on the call are having challenges registering for the vaccine in your state and community, and because many places require signup through online forums. And if you don't have access to a computer, this can be a real challenge. AARP wants to help, and we have established an AARP Vaccine Registration Team to try to assist in these cases. So today, if you're listening, and you don't have a computer, and you can't register for a vaccine in your community, please know that because you don't have access to technology that should not hamper you. We want you to please press “1” right now to be added to a list to receive a phone call from AARP staff to assist you.

Now, let's get to your questions. And now I'd like to bring in AARP's COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Multicultural Engagement Lead, Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey, to help facilitate your process. Welcome, Dr. Quartey.

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Thank you, Shani. What a great conversation. We have lots of questions, so let's go ahead and get to them. Let's go to Angela in Maryland.

Shani Hosten: Hi, Angela in Maryland, go ahead with your question. You're live.

Angela: Can you hear me?

Shani Hosten: Yes, we can. Thank you.

Angela: Well, thank you. Hi. My name is Angie. I just received my second shot of the Moderna vaccination this past Thursday, last Thursday I should say, not this past Thursday, but last Thursday. And I want to give a small birthday party for my sister, no more than 10 attendees. All of the attendees would have been fully vaccinated. Now they're saying that it takes two weeks to be fully vaccinated. Am I able to give a small birthday party for my sister this coming Tuesday, which would have only been 12 days?

Shani Hosten: So, thank you, Angie, for your question, and I'm going to turn that to Dr. Villanueva to answer that for you.

Rachel Villanueva: Well, Angie, so nice to chat with you. You sound like the sister I would want. I don't have a sister, so I'm not throwing any shade on anybody, but you sound like a very loving sister, so that's great. I'm so glad that you got vaccinated, and yes, I mean the guidelines say you're fully vaccinated two weeks from your last dose. We also know that even two weeks after the first dose, you were 80 percent vaccinated. So I think the percentages are very good, and you're almost completely covered. I think it would be helpful to make sure that, you said that everybody you're inviting is fully vaccinated. Is it going to be in a well-ventilated area? ... I guess she doesn't respond. So I'm sorry. I'm sorry, she doesn't respond. So I think we would just want to make sure that you continue to be as careful as possible. A well-ventilated area, still wearing a mask. I think that would be important just because we're not technically at that two-week mark, but we know that even after that first dose of vaccine, you were 80 percent less likely to get severe disease. So very well-protected. So I think the small gathering would be OK, but I would still continue all of those strategies that we know really help decrease transmission of the virus in any event.

Shani Hosten: OK, great. Thank you, Dr. Villanueva. All right, let's go back to the line. Who do we have next, Dr. Quartey?

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Shani, we have Joyce from Virginia live on the line.

Shani Hosten: Oh, good. Hi, Joyce from Virginia. How are you?

Joyce: I'm doing great. How about you?

Shani Hosten: I'm well, thank you. Go ahead with your question.

Joyce: I saw on my Facebook yesterday, it said that there was a factory mix-up that ruined up to 15 million vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson. And I just wondered, did any of that get out in the field, and how dangerous is it if it did?

Shani Hosten: So Dr. Villanueva, if you would chime in on that and then if any of the other panelists want to chime in as well, that would be helpful.

Rachel Villanueva: So, hi, Joyce, thanks for the question. I think what occurred had really more to do with, has delayed shipment, and doesn't involve any vaccine that was actually distributed to individuals. So it's really a mix-up that's delayed actual vaccine. So that's unfortunate for us, but it's a delay in production, but not in posing any risk or adverse effects. None of the vaccine that went out, that has already gone out has any ... there are no problems with those vaccines that have already gone out. So you can be rest assured about that.

Shani Hosten: Good. Good, good. Dr. Evans or Mr. Anthony, would you care to chime in on that from a local perspective?

Clarence Anthony: The only thing I'll add is I agree with Dr. Villanueva, because the story is just a human error in a Baltimore facility. And those that caused the mix-up, according to what I have read and heard from some of the community leaders there, that it just delayed some of the additional doses, but was not doses that were shipped out.

Shani Hosten: Good, thank you. Thank you for that. Dr. Quartey, is there another question on the line?

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Yes, there are plenty of questions. We're going to go to Facebook right now. There's a Facebook question from Jacqueline Coates who wants to know of risk factors for those with mental illness and their medicines being affected.

Shani Hosten: Well, great question from Jacquelyn. Dr. Evans, would you care to weigh in on that for us, please?

Arthur Evans: I'll let Dr. Villanueva weigh in on that, since it's dealing with medication interaction with other medications that someone might be taking.

Shani Hosten: OK, good. Dr. Villanueva.

Rachel Villanueva: I'm sorry. Could you repeat that question, please?

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Sure. Jacqueline Coates wants to know of any risk factors for those with mental illness and the medicines that they're taking, whether or not that might detract them in being effective.

Rachel Villanueva: Oh, that's a great question, and very important, Jacqueline. Thank you. I think it's really important, and I think overall when we're discussing the vaccine and any individual medications or diseases that you may personally have, it's really crucial that you discuss all of these issues with your personal physician that knows what medication you're taking and any potential interaction with the vaccine. Although overall, I don't believe there are any such interactions, but it would be important for you to discuss this with your personal physician. So whoever prescribes your medication, that would be the best person for you to discuss this particular question with. And that would go for anybody, whether it's mental illness or some kind of other chronic disease, high blood pressure, whatever. In general, we don't see that there are any interactions, but it's always good to do that extra special check with your personal health care provider regarding any questions that you may have.

Shani Hosten: Excellent, Dr. Villanueva. Thank you and very important to always make sure we're checking with our health care professionals. So I think we're going to move on, and thanks for your questions that you all have shared with us. Thank you, Dr. Quartey. We're going to come back to you, and I want to also, you know, thank everyone, but remember, if you'd like to ask a question, please press *3, and we'll be taking additional questions again very soon.

Now let's turn back to our experts. Dr. Villanueva, the CDC recently released guidance on how vaccinated people can safely gather, and we know that families may want to gather this weekend for Easter weekend for those who celebrate Easter or are having some spring trips. What does this mean for people who had the vaccine and what if you haven't had the vaccine? Could you share a bit about that?

Rachel Villanueva: Thank you, Shani. Just two very important points to discuss. And so I think it's so wonderful for all of us who have been vaccinated that we feel a little more freedom, a little safer and a little more free that now we've gotten vaccinated. But the very first thing I spoke about at the top of our program was that we're still in the middle of a crisis. And so, even though the vaccine is allowing us to be a little bit safer as we try to get back to a more normal life, we still need to be very careful about all of our activities. And so the CDC, or Centers for Disease Control, came out with very specific guidelines, actually. I mean if you go on, and I would encourage individuals who have access to the internet, to go to the cdc.gov site, it goes through very complete outlines of what is safe for people who've been fully vaccinated meeting with other fully vaccinated people, vaccinated people being around people who are unvaccinated, risks, where they need to wear masks or not. And I think that it really gives a lot of detail about what is safe. I think we also must just keep in mind, all of us have a risk factor that may not be outlined in those recommendations.

So you always have to consider your personal risk factor. If you're an older individual, if you have an underlying medical problem, you always have to be even more careful than perhaps the guidelines give us. I mean, those are sort of general guidelines. And I think we also, in general, have to continue to wear our masks and social distance and avoid crowds and large gatherings, even though we might be able to gather in smaller groups, especially with people who've been vaccinated, all of us have been vaccinated, they're still not recommending travel. They're still not recommending larger gatherings. And so really overall, I think we all have to continue to be very careful although vaccination allows us to be able to have some of those smaller gatherings with our family, the families that we've missed over the past year.

Shani Hosten: So good, we definitely have to continue to be safe and vigilant, and thank you for outlining those CDC guidelines, Dr. Villanueva. Mr. Anthony, I'd like to turn back to you. What are local governments and community organizations doing to address the vaccine hesitation and concerns in the community?

Clarence Anthony: Yeah, thank you for that question. I do think that it's, first of all, they're taking it very seriously because you know, as we know, city government, local government is the level of government that people interact with on a daily basis, whether it's at the supermarket, post office or wherever. And I think that it took our nation, as well as our communities, time to recognize that each community is different. And that there are people who were around during the Tuskegee study that injected Black women, specifically, 40 years ago, with this syphilis vaccine, and so, therefore, that is still top of mind in some folks' minds around hesitancy of this vaccine. But what we think, and what we're promoting, is local government must push for equity as it relates to getting people to take this vaccine because it's a matter of life and death. So, you know, one thing we're doing, again, is to try to make sure that we have partners that can help us get the vaccine accessible to our elderly population. We're also working on building more trust by working with our church community to publicize and put campaigns together to build trust again.

And I think that one of the most important things is that our leaders are tracking the data. They're making sure that as we talk about hesitancy, as we talk about ways to get this information out, that we actually know the communities, the neighborhoods that are not taking the virus so that we can go door-to-door, church-to-church, as well as other facilities, to be able to get access to the residents who have hesitancies. So the goal is to remove all the barriers and to say, is the pharmacy the right place, is the community center the right place? Can we, in fact, go and make sure that we get consortiums of fraternities and sororities to work together? So it's all right now about removing barriers, getting their data and building community trust because hesitancy is real. And I will acknowledge that hesitancy is based upon the manner in which Black people have been treated in the health care system.

But I'm going to say this: This virus is deathly. And I understand the hesitancy, but my road to getting comfortable with this is similar to Dr. Evans. I've seen family members pass. I've seen community leaders. I’ve seen healthy, physical 40, 30-year-olds pass because of this. I want everyone to live and live a quality life. So please get the information, follow the science and take this opportunity that is given to you with this vaccine.

Shani Hosten: Thank you, thank you so much, Mr. Anthony, and I, too, am seeing our churches in my communities are definitely taken an active role, and it's important to get trusted information. And speaking of trusted information, I want to move to Dr. Evans because there's been a lot of misinformation about the vaccines and how can someone identify or combat that misinformation that is being shared by family or friends or on social media?

Arthur Evans: Yeah, well, it's a very important point, and we know that it's not just misinformation that's out there. Sometimes it is actually targeted to our community and we just have to be aware of that. But we have to use trusted sources. AARP, a very trusted resource. That's why you have thousands of people that get on these calls. So I hope, and I'm sure you're going to continue to be an outlet. We have a representative from the National Medical Association, another very trusted source, particularly for our community. I trust, particularly now, many of the sources that are within our governmental structure and the National Institutes of Health, CDC. John Hopkins actually has a really great website that they've had up since the beginning of the pandemic. So there are trusted sources. You know, I'd like to think that the American Psychological Association is a trusted source when it comes to some of the mental health aspects of this. But I think it's important to do that. It's important to talk to friends. I have a friend, a colleague whose mother was very hesitant about taking the vaccine even though she's at very high risk, and it was her friends, her mother's friend, who convinced her, and not only convinced her, but went with her to get her vaccine. So I think that there are these trusted resources, it is important I think to share our experiences. I myself has been fully vaccinated at this point. I'm doing fine. You know, in fact, I'm less stressed, frankly, because I have had the vaccine. It's not that I'm letting my guard down, but that's one less thing for me to have to be concerned about. So I think people sharing their own experiences, you know, what Mr. Anthony just talked about is really important, that whole issue of trusted sources. Many of our congregations, churches, mosques are really stepping up, because they understand that this is having a direct impact on their congregations. And I think one of the things that I would just add, I mean, for African American professionals have really stepped up, but I think we have to continue to be more visible because when you hear people from your communities who have gone through and they've gotten the training, they're looking at the research, they're in clinical practice, that also goes a long way. So I just would encourage all of our colleagues out there who may not have been as public about what they know and what their comfort level is, I think it's important for them to step up as well.

Shani Hosten: Absolutely. And thank you, Dr. Evans. And this also reminds us that as the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine continues, scammers are out there looking for ways to take advantage and with the COVID-19 vaccination in full swing, unfortunately these scammers are going to continue to try to find ways to take advantage. We've seen federal and state agencies are warning that the flood of vaccine scams with phony websites and email campaigns promising easy and early access to the coronavirus shot. We've seen authorities also anticipate really that a fresh wave of stimulus scams with the approval of the new round of relief payments, enhancing unemployment benefits and the small business loans occurring right now, we know the scammers will call and send emails and even text messages, and will place fake ads to convince people that they can jump to the front of the vaccine line for paying a fee, or by providing their Social Security number or other sensitive personal information. And you can't pay to jump the line and COVID vaccines should be free, even for people without insurance. And I want to repeat that. The COVID vaccine should be free even with people without insurance. And so, always turn to trusted sources, such as your doctor or health care professional or local health departments for guidance and information around the distribution of the vaccine. And visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork to learn more about these and other scams, or call Fraud Watch Network Helpline at (877) 908-3360.

So now it's time to address more of your questions with Dr. Villanueva, Mr. Clarence Anthony and Dr. Arthur Evans. And Dr. Quartey, who do we have on the line for our next call?

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Hi, Shani, we're going to go to Collette in Pennsylvania with her question. Collette, you're on.

Collette: Yes, good afternoon. My question is, myself and my coworker, we had our first shot taken last Sunday. At her place of employment, though, they test for the COVID on a regular basis. They tested yesterday and they came up positive having the virus. But my question is, wouldn't that be normal if they were just given the vaccine? Wouldn't that, isn't that logical that they would test positive because some of the vaccine had some of the virus in it? So it doesn't necessarily mean that they do have the virus?

Shani Hosten: Thank you, Collette for that question. I'm going to turn that to Dr. Villanueva to provide an answer for that.

Rachel Villanueva: Thank you, and that's such an important question, Collette, and I think many, many people probably have the same question. It's really important to keep in mind that there's no virus in the vaccine, right, so those mRNA vaccines, the ones that are the two doses, they actually don't carry any virus within the vaccine. So what the vaccine is, is really information. It's almost like the recipe that lets your body know how to develop the proteins or the antibodies that will fight the COVID virus, but it doesn't contain any COVID virus. So it really highlights the one thing that we have been talking about so much when we've been talking about the virus, is that people can be asymptomatic, which is that they don't have any symptoms of COVID, but they've been exposed, and they could give it to somebody else. And we know that that's been such a large percentage of how people have been infected and how easily it's spread throughout the country. Because people like your coworker don't think they have anything, they feel fine, but they've been exposed, and then they carry the virus and now they can give it to somebody else.

So the positive PCR test was not related to the vaccine actually. It really was an asymptomatic carrier. Those are those very dangerous carriers actually, because they think and look and act fine, and but they can actually spread the virus to other people, which is why getting vaccinated is really important for all of us.

Shani Hosten: Great. Thank you. Thank you so much. Dr. Quartey, who's our next caller?

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Our next caller is Glenda from Florida. Glenda?

Shani Hosten: Hi, Glenda. You're live, thank you.

Glenda: Thank you. First, I want to just thank AARP for having the willingness to have this discussion with our community, which have some unique challenges as Black people. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Shani Hosten: Thank you.

Glenda: OK. So I read where the length of the immunity for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine is about six months. I want to know exactly what this means, and does this indeed mean that I will need to take a booster shot or be revaccinated after six months?

Shani Hosten: Great question. I'm going to turn that to Dr. Villanueva.

Rachel Villanueva: I don't want to monopolize the call, but OK. Glenda, you are keeping right up with the latest information. And with COVID-19, the information is coming in and changes weekly and sometimes even daily, because this information just came out, today, yesterday. So you know, we have to keep in mind that our information about the vaccine and our immunity to the vaccine is ongoing, that the trials are still ongoing. We're getting information in real time. So before this information came out in the last day or so, we thought the immunity was three months, because that's the length of time we had actually studied so far. Right? Now we've studied for six months. So we know that the vaccines are still 90 percent effective after six months. That doesn't mean it's not effective for longer. It just means we don't have that data information yet. So it's very likely that it will, it may last longer, we don't have that information yet. It's only been a few months. So we know that it's six months, which is great, and we're hoping that it will be longer. But, you know, just like the flu vaccine, sometimes there has to be a yearly vaccine because it mutates and changes. And I think we just have to do exactly what Glenda has been doing and keep up with the latest information of what's going on. And we just will have to see what happens. But I think, everything's really happening in real time, and so we have to be patient and then just keep up with the information.

Shani Hosten: And Dr. Villanueva, thank you for that. And thanks, Glenda, for your question. And that's why AARP continues to have these calls, because we know the information is changing or evolving. So I encourage Glenda to keep an eye out for additional AARP tele-town hall information meetings, as well. I want to move on to Dr. Quartey, I think we have time for maybe one more question from our callers?

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Yeah, yeah, we have no shortage of questions here. We're going to go to Barbara from North Carolina with her question. Barbara, you're live.

Shani Hosten: Hi, Barbara. Go ahead with your question. Barbara, are you there?

Barbara: Yes, hello?

Shani Hosten: Hi, Barbara, go ahead with your question, you're live. Thank you.

Barbara: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought I had already given my question, but my question was, my concern was, that so many African Americans, they're already a statistic of having passed from the virus, so I was wondering, is it simply because our race has more problems that are conducive to the virus, or, you know, is it some type of gene or something that is causing our race to be more vulnerable to the virus? That's basically what my question was. And I think I've heard some answers as far as the condition that, you know, maybe more of our race is in, but is that underlining problem, or is it something that we are doing or have done as far as our health is concerned?

Shani Hosten: Well, thank you so much for that question. And, Mr. Anthony touched on that a little bit, but Mr. Anthony, if you would like to expand upon that, that will be helpful.

Clarence Anthony: Yeah, thank you so much, Barbara, for that question. I think it is historical and it's also systemic. And it goes back to some of the health issues that our community has had historically, and, you know, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some of that is because of the way America has included us or excluded us. You know, if you think about asthma, for example, you find a lot of our communities are close to railroad tracks and incinerators and urban communities, and the quality of water sometimes in rural communities. You can talk about the lack of health care and access. And so, when our body, and I'm not a medical doctor, that's why we have Dr. Villanueva on, when our body contracts these kinds of viruses, we don't have the system in place in order to fight it. So what we are wanting to do is to make sure that through all of what we have learned, we want to address some of those systemic and institutional systems of racism that has existed. So I'm committed to working with local leaders to be able to use these coronavirus relief funds, as well as the American Rescue Fund, to be able to address these things. And I tell you, AARP is a good resource, and I'm telling all of my members that we should partner with AARP regionally, as well as nationally, because we need to address this, as well as the National Medical Association, who's providing great data and information here today.

Shani Hosten: Thank you so much, Mr. Anthony. And we appreciate the collaboration and partnerships, and we know that we can't do it alone at AARP, so that's why we appreciate the partnership. So great comments there and great questions.

Before we close, I do want to have the opportunity to have you all weigh in for any closing thoughts or recommendations that our listeners should understand most coming out of our conversation today. We've covered a lot, but are there closing comments that you all could share with our listeners as we close out today? And let's start with Dr. Evans.

Arthur Evans: Sure, thank you. Well again, thank you for inviting me to be a part of this. I think our message from the American Psychological Association is to really understand that this pandemic is affecting both our mental health and our physical health. And the data is really clear on the impact that it's having on African American mental health and really encourage people to one, pay attention to that, but two, take steps to address their mental health even as we're coming out of the pandemic. We know that the mental health aspects of this are going to be with us for quite a bit of time. And then, finally, just to do what is going to really help you and your families be safe, and it's clear that getting vaccinated can really make a big difference. And so I really encourage people to not only think about yourself, but then who else in your life, in your circle needs to get that information and may need a little encouragement or support to actually also take those steps.

Shani Hosten: Thank you. Thank you so much, Dr. Evans, for those remarks. And I want to move on now to Mr. Anthony. Any closing remarks today for our listeners?

Clarence Anthony: Yeah, the only thing I'd add is listen to the experts. Listen to Dr. Evans because he is right, Shani, that this has impacted our mental, as well as physical health, as well as, listen to Dr. Villanueva, because the doctor is right on as it relates to making sure that we get the right information and become comfortable. And finally, I'll say to you, I had the same journey that many of you may be going through and being hesitant nine months ago. But as I have learned about the science associated with this and the health issues that I needed to get educated on, it was the right thing for me. And I hope that you all, who may be hesitant, will go through your journey, but please, get the right data, get the right information.

Shani Hosten: Excellent. Excellent. Thank you, Mr. Anthony, and speaking of information and data as well, I want to turn it over to Dr. Villanueva for closing thoughts.

Rachel Villanueva: Thank you so much Shani, and thank you again to AARP for facilitating the conversation today, and for continuing to facilitate conversations that will improve our community. And I think that there's no question that our community has been overburdened with COVID-19 and the impact that it's had on us mentally and physically in our communities. And I think that, although many will say that our community is hesitant, I think even research has recently showed we're the group of individuals that are really asking a lot of questions, and we're the most persuadable group of people, meaning that once our questions are answered, once we hear from experts and get the information, we actually will make the choice to get the vaccine. And I think that's so important for us to keep in mind, that it is OK to ask questions. These are really scary and unprecedented times. We say that over and over again, but it's such an important thing. You know, this is all new for all of us, so it's OK to have questions, it's OK to ask the questions and want to know more information. And hopefully, once you get that information, you'll decide that that the vaccine is what you'll ultimately get, will ultimately take the vaccine. And I think that it's really important to keep in mind that this is the way we're going to stem the tide of death in our community, and it's our community that's dying and hospitalized and overburdened, and we have to keep that in mind. So I, again, I thank AARP so, so very much, because I think there are so many individuals who need to hear this information, and as many times as I'm invited to come back, I will absolutely come back because I think the conversation is important so that we keep our community safe, we keep our loved ones safe and we try to get back to a more normal life again.

Shani Hosten: Thank you so very much, Dr. Villanueva, we appreciate those comments and you taking the time. And thank each of you, Dr. Villanueva, Mr. Clarence Anthony, and Dr. Arthur Evans for taking your time today to share information, answer questions and provide trusted information, specifically as it relates to the Black community. And it's been said today that our recovery is going to be slower, we know that, but if we have trusted information, we can make informed decisions. And thank you to our AARP members, our volunteers and listeners for participating in this discussion today.

AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has been working to promote health and well-being for older Americans for more than 60 years. And in the face of this crisis, we are providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus, prevent its spread to others while taking care of themselves. All of the resources that are referenced, including a recording of today's Q&A event, can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus on April 2. Again, the web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. So go there if your questions were not addressed today. Dr. Quartey, I can't thank you enough for helping to facilitate those conversations and questions. We know there are more, but you will find the latest updates, as well as information created specifically for older people and adults and family caregivers, at aarp.org/coronavirus.

We hope you learned something and can take that today to help keep you and your loved ones healthy. And please tune in on April 8, for two more live events where we'll discuss COVID-19 vaccines. At 1 p.m. ET on April 8, we'll focus on COVID vaccine distribution and caring for family members, and at 7 p.m. ET on April 8, we're going to discuss coronavirus and Latinos. Thank you and have a good day. This concludes our call.

Tele-Town Hall 4/1 Coronavirus and The Black Community: Your Vaccine Questions Answered With Timestamps

Shani Hosten:  Hello, I am AARP Vice President Shani Hosten, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about coronavirus. Before we begin, if you would like to listen to this telephone town hall in Spanish, please press *0 on your telephone keypad. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. Today, we're going to discuss the latest on the pandemic, vaccine safety and access and what the continued distribution of vaccines means for the Black community. We're having this discussion as data continues to show that Black Americans are being hit harder by the pandemic, and the vaccine access, while it's improving, we know has not been equitable. We have distinguished experts on hand today to answer your critical questions.

[00:01:08] For those of you joining us on the phone, if you would like to ask your question about the coronavirus pandemic, please press *3 on your telephone to be connected with an AARP staff member, who will note your name and your question and place you in a queue to ask that question live. And if you would like to listen to this telephone town-hall in Spanish, press *0 on your telephone keypad now. If you're joining us on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comments.

[00:02:10] Today, we're so grateful to have some outstanding leaders joining us from the National Medical Association, the National League of Cities and the American Psychological Association. We will also be joined by AARP's COVID-19 Vaccine Education, Multicultural Engagement lead Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey who will help facilitate your call. This event is being recorded today, and you can access the recording at aarp.org/coronavirus 24 hours after we end our call today.

[00:02:46] So now I would like to welcome our guests, Dr. Rachel Villanueva is the president-elect of the National Medical Association, where she's taking over the reins this coming July, and she'll be representing 50,000 African American physicians and the patients they serve, and is the leading force for parity and justice in medicine and the elimination of disparities in health. Welcome, Dr. Villanueva.

[00:03:33]Rachel Villanueva:  Thank you.

[00:03:34]Shani Hosten:  Next, we have Mr. Clarence Anthony. He's the CEO, chief executive officer, and executive director of the National League of Cities, which represents more than 2,000 cities across the country. Under his leadership, NLC has advanced policies that make race and equity a priority. Thanks for joining us and welcome back, Mr. Anthony.

[00:03:59]Clarence Anthony:  Thank you very much, and thanks for having me.

[00:04:02]Shani Hosten:  And next we have Dr. Arthur Evans. He's the chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association, the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with more than 121,000 members. Thank you for being here, Dr. Evans.

[00:04:22]Arthur Evans:  Thank you. I'm honored to be here.

[00:04:26]Shani Hosten:  So now, let's get started with our discussion. OK, now let's hear from our experts. I'd like to start with a question for all of you. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on older people of color, and as the vaccines become more available, what is the most important thing you think people should know? And I'll start the conversation with Dr. Villanueva and then move on to Dr. Anthony, Mr. Anthony and Dr. Evans. So Dr. Villanueva?

[00:05:13]Rachel Villanueva:  Thank you so much, Shani, and thank you for having the National Medical Association be part of this conversation. I think it's difficult to say what is the one important thing. So I'm just going to touch on a few important things as most doctors will not just tell you just one thing. I think very important for everyone to keep in mind is that the pandemic is still very much a public health crisis. And so, although we're very optimistic with the advent of new technologies and the vaccines and people getting vaccinated, I think we really do have to keep in mind that the crisis is still here, and we still need to be very careful and very vigilant about being safe, vaccinated or not. I think it's also important to just keep in mind that the risk for severe illness associated with COVID-19 increases with increasing age. So older adults are at the highest risk, older adults that are at highest risk for requiring hospitalization and dying, unfortunately. And we know that 80 percent of COVID-19-related deaths are related to individuals that are 65 years or older. And then also, if you have an underlying medical problem or additional medical problem, like high blood pressure or diabetes, or even obesity, even being over your ideal body weight, that will also put you at an even higher risk for COVID-19 severe disease. And then finally, we also know that the risk in our community, in the Black community, is increased for hospitalizations three times and for death two times the average population in the United States. So we need to keep all of those things really at the forefront, even though we know that the vaccines will help us to get back to normal life, that we need to still be very careful and do all of those practices, the strategies that keep us safe, wearing our mask, washing our hands, avoiding touching our eyes and nose and mouth, social distancing, and then lastly, getting vaccinated when it's available to you. Please, please get vaccinated.

[00:07:33]Shani Hosten:  So thank you so much, Dr. Villanueva, for sharing those important tips and things for us to be mindful of and to continue to keep in mind as we are still, as you mentioned, are in the pandemic. So I'll go on to Mr. Anthony. If you would like to weigh in on that question, what's the most important thing you think people should know?

[00:07:52]Clarence Anthony:  Well, again, thank you AARP for having us back in this important conversation on behalf of the National League of Cities, and all of our municipal leaders, mayors, council members all over America. This is an important issue because we want to make sure that our communities are recovering and, in fact, become more vibrant and thriving as we go through this challenging time. There are a couple of things that I think is important to frame this conversation. And let's just really be direct because it is an important time in our nation. You know, it's three to four times Black people tend to get the coronavirus disease, than our white colleagues. That's a fact. And we also are dying at a higher rate, twice that of other populations. And we're lagging behind in regards to getting the vaccine, as a percentage of the population in most every city in America.

[00:09:05] And so, I want to just say straight out, there is this concern that we don't want to be used as a guinea pig, especially our elderly population. So I know that we have to really talk about that today, but I also want to encourage us, that we want to live a healthy and long life. So, this conversation today is about getting you information on ways to do that. Thank you.

[00:09:36]Shani Hosten:  Absolutely, and thank you, Mr. Anthony, for sharing that, because the information definitely is powerful and helps us to make those informed decisions. So I want to move on to Dr. Evans, for him to weigh in, if you will. What's the most important thing you think people should know, Dr. Evans?

[00:09:50]Arthur Evans:  Well, again, thank you for inviting me. The American Psychological Association has been very involved in this issue since the very beginning, the pandemic, and really looking at both the psychological impact, and the impact that the pandemic is having on people, as well as some of the behavioral issues, and I'll talk a minute about that. From a mental health standpoint, we know that the pandemic has had a very significant impact on our mental health, just generally. We do a survey each year called Stress in America and during the pandemic, we actually redid the survey several times just to see how people's stress levels were being affected by the pandemic. And immediately after the pandemic, we saw a spike for the first time; we've been doing this for many years, and we saw a spike in the overall stress levels of Americans that has stayed pretty high throughout the pandemic. When we asked people, about 80 percent, over 80 percent of people say that their mental health has been negatively affected by the pandemic. And then when we look at African Americans, in particular, the stress levels are even higher. And it's because of a confluence of not only the pandemic, you have the economic issues that for many people they have lost their jobs, you have the racial tensions that have happened and you have the disproportionate impact that the pandemic has had on the African American community. So when you add all of that up, it paints a picture of a community that is experiencing a lot of stress.

[00:11:36] Our most recent surveys showed that people during the pandemic are gaining quite a bit of weight, typically about 15 pounds, and about 40 percent of the population, in general, have gained weight, about 20 percent have actually lost weight, undesired weight gain or weight loss. So this is already starting to have an impact, not only on our mental health, but on our physical health. People's sleep is also being disturbed — people sleeping more than they want or less than they want. And really concerning is that 25 percent of people are saying that they are drinking more to help cope with their stress. So what that says is that we really have to pay attention to our mental health as we go through this, that even after we are vaccinated, the mental health aspects of this are going to be with us for quite a bit of time.

[00:12:40] And particularly in our community, in the African American community, it is really important to pay attention to these issues because our mental health affects our physical health, but it also affects ability in all our social and family networks. And so I would just really suggest that people be aware of what we're seeing in terms of the mental health impact and really take action to address some of the mental health challenges that we're experiencing.

[00:13:15]Shani Hosten:  So thank you, Dr. Evans, for sharing that important information regarding our mental health and other things that we're going to have to consider as we go through. Thanks each of you for weighing in on those topics, and we're going to dive deeper into some of that as we go through our conversation today.

[00:13:42] It's clear that the pandemic is shedding light on racial disparities, and that existed long before this crisis, which has been really exacerbated by it. And I'd like to let our listeners know that AARP is focused on combating those disparities. We have advocated at the federal, state and local levels for greater data transparency, and actions to protect our residents and staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, especially as the data has shown that people of color in these facilities have been hit much harder. Also in places like New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, South Carolina, New Jersey and California, AARP is working to ensure more racial and ethnic data collection, outreach and testing for people of color, and seeking commitments from leaders to address underlying issues related to hunger, health access and transportation, and more. Across the country there's a consistent pattern of Black and Hispanic people receiving smaller shares of vaccinations, which was mentioned, compared to the share of cases and deaths they represent. And we cannot allow these disparities to grow. That's why we're working for equitable access to coronavirus vaccines and partnering with organizations like many of the ones that are represented here on this call today at the national, state and local levels to provide you with the latest information. And you can find out about this work and more at aarp.org/vaccineinfo.

[00:15:19] On that note, Dr. Villanueva, with three vaccines being distributed in the United States, can you share with us how older adults and Black Americans were represented in the trials for the vaccines that are being distributed in the United States?

[00:15:37]Rachel Villanueva:  Thank you, that's an excellent, excellent question because obviously we know that even with other medications and vaccines, things may not affect different populations in the same way, so it is important for us to look at these different factors. So, as you said, there are three vaccines that received emergency use authorization and the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses, and the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine requires one dose. The trials for the Pfizer vaccine included 10 percent of the study population, which was about 44,000 individuals. So a very large study. Ten percent were African American, 41 percent were over the age of 56. For the Moderna, which was 32,000 individuals studied, 10 percent were Black and 25 percent of those were over the age of 65. Actually, I meant to say 65 for the Pfizer, not 56. My dyslexia. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine had 13 percent of the population was, of the individuals in the study population, were Black. And although it seems that that is a good number to have 10 to 13 percent, because that roughly reflects the number of Black Americans in the country, which is good, there's nothing bad about that. But when we really think of the increased number of individuals in our community affected by this pandemic, we actually would have wanted to see even more of a study population included, representative of how many of our individuals of our community are affected by the virus. But if we're looking at studies in general, I think they did a very good job of trying to have a good representation of Black Americans in the study.

[00:18:08]Shani Hosten:  So thanks, Dr. Villanueva. That's good and that's helpful to know. Very helpful. So Mr. Anthony, I want to go to you and with states and local communities being responsible for the vaccine rollout, what are local governments doing to ensure that people have equitable access to vaccines in their local communities?

[00:18:28]Clarence Anthony:  Yeah, thank you for that question, because I do think a lot of the data shows and talks about the distrust of the vaccine as the reason why Black Americans aren't or African Americans are not getting the vaccine. And part of that is true, but, you know, making sure that there's partnership with the health departments, the nonprofits, the church community, community-based organizations like the YMCA, is very, very important to addressing the real issue, and I think that is access to the vaccine. Making sure that city leaders and other partners are getting free rides to the vaccine sites, because a lot of the communities don't have the transportation options that others have. You know, we're saying be six feet away, be careful about what you touch, but we're saying, get on a bus, get on a train to get it. That's just not what our local leaders are proposing. They're trying to get the sites in the actual communities. And also, I think, cities in Minnesota, they're working with other companies to be able to survey the citizens and say, if in fact we get it, where should we put the sites in the community? So local leaders are trying to make sure we have vital information to share about the vaccine, where it is located. If you're a non-English speaking resident, how can we help you get the translation services?

[00:20:19] What's more concerning to me, and I oftentimes don't think we focus on, is the rural communities, and the elderly that are in those communities. They really are uneasy about receiving the vaccine. They're concerned about the access, and they're concerned about their knowledge. So our city leaders, working with our partners, are working to make sure we focus on those small communities as well, those that are elderly in those communities. So there's a lot of work to do to build trust, but also the access is also very key.

[00:21:04]Shani Hosten:  Well, great. So thank you, Mr. Anthony, and thanks for all the work that you're doing there to provide that access. I want to move to Dr. Evans. And you've mentioned earlier, we've been living under this pandemic for over a year now. And what has been the impact on people's physical and mental health from the pandemic? You touched on that, but have Black Americans been impacted to an even greater degree?

[00:21:29]Arthur Evans:  Yes, African Americans have, and I think for several reasons. Generally speaking, when we look at stress levels in the African American community, they are higher than the rest of the population, in general. And what we've seen through the pandemic, because of the differential impact that the pandemic has had, that we continue to see that difference of African Americans having higher stress levels. But, you know, there's another piece that I think is really important to understand here. It's not just the pandemic. The pandemic in and of itself would be extremely stressful, but we've had some very horrific incidents concerning African Americans. What our surveys show is that those things affect African Americans, the Black community. The interesting thing is that a lot of the racial incidents that have happened against Black people have also been disturbing and stressful for white Americans as well, which was a surprise that there are over 50 percent of whites saying that these things were distressing for them, as well.

[00:22:45] So, you know, it's that additive and layering of these different stressors that we're experiencing, and the isolation, the grief, people not being able to grieve. I've had losses in my own family. Many people have had losses in their family, some due to COVID, some not due to COVID. And not being able to grieve and those kinds of things. Those have an additive impact on us, and so it's really important to understand that, to be aware of that, and to take some steps. So the first thing, the thing that I put at the top of the list is social support. And all that means, is who are the people in our lives that give us support? That is one of the things that is the highest predictor of how well we do in life in general, but how well we do with our physical health, with our mental health. The more people that we have that can support us, the better. And one of the hopeful findings from our survey is that 84 percent of people said that using virtual or telephone or video calls, that those connections actually helped them. You know, there was some concern at the beginning of this, because we were saying on the one hand, social support is really important. On the other hand, don't spend time close to people. And so we were really cutting ourselves off from the things that typically help us. But during this period, where we do have to stay physically distant, we need to be very conscious about making a conscious effort to stay socially connected though media and through other mechanisms.

[00:24:33] So I would put that at the top of the list. But also just doing some basic things around our own health, you know, proper eating, proper sleep, to the degree that people can get some physical activity. All of those things help with both our stress levels, but they also help some of the unhealthy things that we're seeing as a result of the pandemic, the weight gain, the sleep disturbances and so forth. So, the social support, doing the things to take care of ourselves physically and then the third thing that I would add to that is just being very intentional about doing pleasurable things, because one of the things that has happened during the pandemic is that people have stopped doing a lot of the things that they get pleasure from. And we know from the work we do with psychologists, and actually one of the strategies that we employ with people, is getting people to be very intentional about doing things that they get pleasure from. So I really encourage people to think about what are those things? And then how can I make those things happen even during this pandemic. That'll be helpful in terms of helping people to manage their stress and distress levels.

[00:25:50]Shani Hosten:  Great, great. Thank you so much, Dr. Evans, so very important with this focus on social support and really just self-care during this time. Very critical. Before we take questions from our members, we want to address an important issue, and it's been mentioned today. And we know that many of you on the call are having challenges registering for the vaccine in your state and community, and because many places require signup through online forums. And if you don't have access to a computer, this can be a real challenge. AARP wants to help, and we have established an AARP Vaccine Registration Team to try to assist in these cases. So today, if you're listening, and you don't have a computer, and you can't register for a vaccine in your community, please know that because you don't have access to technology that should not hamper you. We want you to please press “1” right now to be added to a list to receive a phone call from AARP staff to assist you.

[00:27:08] Now, let's get to your questions. And now I'd like to bring in AARP's COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Multicultural Engagement Lead, Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey, to help facilitate your process. Welcome, Dr. Quartey.

[00:27:47]Nii-Quartelai Quartey:  Thank you, Shani. What a great conversation. We have lots of questions, so let's go ahead and get to them. Let's go to Angela in Maryland.

[00:28:02]Shani Hosten:  Hi, Angela in Maryland, go ahead with your question. You're live.

[00:28:07]Angela:  Can you hear me?

[00:28:08]Shani Hosten:  Yes, we can. Thank you.

[00:28:10]Angela:  Well, thank you. Hi. My name is Angie. I just received my second shot of the Moderna vaccination this past Thursday, last Thursday I should say, not this past Thursday, but last Thursday. And I want to give a small birthday party for my sister, no more than 10 attendees. All of the attendees would have been fully vaccinated. Now they're saying that it takes two weeks to be fully vaccinated. Am I able to give a small birthday party for my sister this coming Tuesday, which would have only been 12 days?

[00:28:47]Shani Hosten:  So, thank you, Angie, for your question, and I'm going to turn that to Dr. Villanueva to answer that for you.

[00:28:56]Rachel Villanueva:  Well, Angie, so nice to chat with you. You sound like the sister I would want. I don't have a sister, so I'm not throwing any shade on anybody, but you sound like a very loving sister, so that's great. I'm so glad that you got vaccinated, and yes, I mean the guidelines say you're fully vaccinated two weeks from your last dose. We also know that even two weeks after the first dose, you were 80 percent vaccinated. So I think the percentages are very good, and you're almost completely covered. I think it would be helpful to make sure that, you said that everybody you're inviting is fully vaccinated. Is it going to be in a well-ventilated area? ... I guess she doesn't respond. So I'm sorry. I'm sorry, she doesn't respond. So I think we would just want to make sure that you continue to be as careful as possible. A well-ventilated area, still wearing a mask. I think that would be important just because we're not technically at that two-week mark, but we know that even after that first dose of vaccine, you were 80 percent less likely to get severe disease. So very well-protected. So I think the small gathering would be OK, but I would still continue all of those strategies that we know really help decrease transmission of the virus in any event.

[00:30:44]Shani Hosten:  OK, great. Thank you, Dr. Villanueva. All right, let's go back to the line. Who do we have next, Dr. Quartey?

[00:30:52]Nii-Quartelai Quartey:  Shani, we have Joyce from Virginia live on the line.

[00:30:58]Shani Hosten:  Oh, good. Hi, Joyce from Virginia. How are you?

[00:31:01]Joyce:  I'm doing great. How about you?

[00:31:02]Shani Hosten:  I'm well, thank you. Go ahead with your question.

[00:31:06]Joyce:  I saw on my Facebook yesterday, it said that there was a factory mix-up that ruined up to 15 million vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson. And I just wondered, did any of that get out in the field, and how dangerous is it if it did?

[00:31:29]Shani Hosten:  So Dr. Villanueva, if you would chime in on that and then if any of the other panelists want to chime in as well, that would be helpful.

[00:31:44]Rachel Villanueva:  So, hi, Joyce, thanks for the question. I think what occurred had really more to do with, has delayed shipment, and doesn't involve any vaccine that was actually distributed to individuals. So it's really a mix-up that's delayed actual vaccine. So that's unfortunate for us, but it's a delay in production, but not in posing any risk or adverse effects. None of the vaccine that went out, that has already gone out has any ... there are no problems with those vaccines that have already gone out. So you can be rest assured about that.

[00:32:35]Shani Hosten:  Good. Good, good. Dr. Evans or Mr. Anthony, would you care to chime in on that from a local perspective?

[00:32:48]Clarence Anthony:  The only thing I'll add is I agree with Dr. Villanueva, because the story is just a human error in a Baltimore facility. And those that caused the mix-up, according to what I have read and heard from some of the community leaders there, that it just delayed some of the additional doses, but was not doses that were shipped out.

[00:33:22]Shani Hosten:  Good, thank you. Thank you for that. Dr. Quartey, is there another question on the line?

[00:33:30]Nii-Quartelai Quartey:  Yes, there are plenty of questions. We're going to go to Facebook right now. There's a Facebook question from Jacqueline Coates who wants to know of risk factors for those with mental illness and their medicines being affected.

[00:33:51]Shani Hosten:  Well, great question from Jacquelyn. Dr. Evans, would you care to weigh in on that for us, please?

[00:34:00]Arthur Evans:  I'll let Dr. Villanueva weigh in on that, since it's dealing with medication interaction with other medications that someone might be taking.

[00:34:10]Shani Hosten:  OK, good. Dr. Villanueva.

[00:34:15]Rachel Villanueva:  I'm sorry. Could you repeat that question, please?

[00:34:19]Nii-Quartelai Quartey:  Sure. Jacqueline Coates wants to know of any risk factors for those with mental illness and the medicines that they're taking, whether or not that might detract them in being effective.

[00:34:32]Rachel Villanueva:  Oh, that's a great question, and very important, Jacqueline. Thank you. I think it's really important, and I think overall when we're discussing the vaccine and any individual medications or diseases that you may personally have, it's really crucial that you discuss all of these issues with your personal physician that knows what medication you're taking and any potential interaction with the vaccine. Although overall, I don't believe there are any such interactions, but it would be important for you to discuss this with your personal physician. So whoever prescribes your medication, that would be the best person for you to discuss this particular question with. And that would go for anybody, whether it's mental illness or some kind of other chronic disease, high blood pressure, whatever. In general, we don't see that there are any interactions, but it's always good to do that extra special check with your personal health care provider regarding any questions that you may have.

[00:35:50]Shani Hosten:  Excellent, Dr. Villanueva. Thank you and very important to always make sure we're checking with our health care professionals. So I think we're going to move on, and thanks for your questions that you all have shared with us. Thank you, Dr. Quartey. We're going to come back to you, and I want to also, you know, thank everyone, but remember, if you'd like to ask a question, please press *3, and we'll be taking additional questions again very soon.

[00:36:18] Now let's turn back to our experts. Dr. Villanueva, the CDC recently released guidance on how vaccinated people can safely gather, and we know that families may want to gather this weekend for Easter weekend for those who celebrate Easter or are having some spring trips. What does this mean for people who had the vaccine and what if you haven't had the vaccine? Could you share a bit about that?

[00:36:47]Rachel Villanueva:  Thank you, Shani. Just two very important points to discuss. And so I think it's so wonderful for all of us who have been vaccinated that we feel a little more freedom, a little safer and a little more free that now we've gotten vaccinated. But the very first thing I spoke about at the top of our program was that we're still in the middle of a crisis. And so, even though the vaccine is allowing us to be a little bit safer as we try to get back to a more normal life, we still need to be very careful about all of our activities. And so the CDC, or Centers for Disease Control, came out with very specific guidelines, actually. I mean if you go on, and I would encourage individuals who have access to the internet, to go to the cdc.gov site, it goes through very complete outlines of what is safe for people who've been fully vaccinated meeting with other fully vaccinated people, vaccinated people being around people who are unvaccinated, risks, where they need to wear masks or not. And I think that it really gives a lot of detail about what is safe. I think we also must just keep in mind, all of us have a risk factor that may not be outlined in those recommendations.

[00:38:24] So you always have to consider your personal risk factor. If you're an older individual, if you have an underlying medical problem, you always have to be even more careful than perhaps the guidelines give us. I mean, those are sort of general guidelines. And I think we also, in general, have to continue to wear our masks and social distance and avoid crowds and large gatherings, even though we might be able to gather in smaller groups, especially with people who've been vaccinated, all of us have been vaccinated, they're still not recommending travel. They're still not recommending larger gatherings. And so really overall, I think we all have to continue to be very careful although vaccination allows us to be able to have some of those smaller gatherings with our family, the families that we've missed over the past year.

[00:39:23]Shani Hosten:  So good, we definitely have to continue to be safe and vigilant, and thank you for outlining those CDC guidelines, Dr. Villanueva. Mr. Anthony, I'd like to turn back to you. What are local governments and community organizations doing to address the vaccine hesitation and concerns in the community?

[00:39:45]Clarence Anthony:  Yeah, thank you for that question. I do think that it's, first of all, they're taking it very seriously because you know, as we know, city government, local government is the level of government that people interact with on a daily basis, whether it's at the supermarket, post office or wherever. And I think that it took our nation, as well as our communities, time to recognize that each community is different. And that there are people who were around during the Tuskegee study that injected Black women, specifically, 40 years ago, with this syphilis vaccine, and so, therefore, that is still top of mind in some folks' minds around hesitancy of this vaccine. But what we think, and what we're promoting, is local government must push for equity as it relates to getting people to take this vaccine because it's a matter of life and death. So, you know, one thing we're doing, again, is to try to make sure that we have partners that can help us get the vaccine accessible to our elderly population. We're also working on building more trust by working with our church community to publicize and put campaigns together to build trust again.

[00:41:06] And I think that one of the most important things is that our leaders are tracking the data. They're making sure that as we talk about hesitancy, as we talk about ways to get this information out, that we actually know the communities, the neighborhoods that are not taking the virus so that we can go door-to-door, church-to-church, as well as other facilities, to be able to get access to the residents who have hesitancies. So the goal is to remove all the barriers and to say, is the pharmacy the right place, is the community center the right place? Can we, in fact, go and make sure that we get consortiums of fraternities and sororities to work together? So it's all right now about removing barriers, getting their data and building community trust because hesitancy is real. And I will acknowledge that hesitancy is based upon the manner in which Black people have been treated in the health care system.

[00:42:43] But I'm going to say this: This virus is deathly. And I understand the hesitancy, but my road to getting comfortable with this is similar to Dr. Evans. I've seen family members pass. I've seen community leaders. I’ve seen healthy, physical 40, 30-year-olds pass because of this. I want everyone to live and live a quality life. So please get the information, follow the science and take this opportunity that is given to you with this vaccine.

[00:43:25]Shani Hosten:  Thank you, thank you so much, Mr. Anthony, and I, too, am seeing our churches in my communities are definitely taken an active role, and it's important to get trusted information. And speaking of trusted information, I want to move to Dr. Evans because there's been a lot of misinformation about the vaccines and how can someone identify or combat that misinformation that is being shared by family or friends or on social media?

[00:43:52]Arthur Evans:  Yeah, well, it's a very important point, and we know that it's not just misinformation that's out there. Sometimes it is actually targeted to our community and we just have to be aware of that. But we have to use trusted sources. AARP, a very trusted resource. That's why you have thousands of people that get on these calls. So I hope, and I'm sure you're going to continue to be an outlet. We have a representative from the National Medical Association, another very trusted source, particularly for our community. I trust, particularly now, many of the sources that are within our governmental structure and the National Institutes of Health, CDC. John Hopkins actually has a really great website that they've had up since the beginning of the pandemic. So there are trusted sources. You know, I'd like to think that the American Psychological Association is a trusted source when it comes to some of the mental health aspects of this. But I think it's important to do that. It's important to talk to friends. I have a friend, a colleague whose mother was very hesitant about taking the vaccine even though she's at very high risk, and it was her friends, her mother's friend, who convinced her, and not only convinced her, but went with her to get her vaccine. So I think that there are these trusted resources, it is important I think to share our experiences. I myself has been fully vaccinated at this point. I'm doing fine. You know, in fact, I'm less stressed, frankly, because I have had the vaccine. It's not that I'm letting my guard down, but that's one less thing for me to have to be concerned about. So I think people sharing their own experiences, you know, what Mr. Anthony just talked about is really important, that whole issue of trusted sources. Many of our congregations, churches, mosques are really stepping up, because they understand that this is having a direct impact on their congregations. And I think one of the things that I would just add, I mean, for African American professionals have really stepped up, but I think we have to continue to be more visible because when you hear people from your communities who have gone through and they've gotten the training, they're looking at the research, they're in clinical practice, that also goes a long way. So I just would encourage all of our colleagues out there who may not have been as public about what they know and what their comfort level is, I think it's important for them to step up as well.

[00:47:08]Shani Hosten:  Absolutely. And thank you, Dr. Evans. And this also reminds us that as the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine continues, scammers are out there looking for ways to take advantage and with the COVID-19 vaccination in full swing, unfortunately these scammers are going to continue to try to find ways to take advantage. We've seen federal and state agencies are warning that the flood of vaccine scams with phony websites and email campaigns promising easy and early access to the coronavirus shot. We've seen authorities also anticipate really that a fresh wave of stimulus scams with the approval of the new round of relief payments, enhancing unemployment benefits and the small business loans occurring right now, we know the scammers will call and send emails and even text messages, and will place fake ads to convince people that they can jump to the front of the vaccine line for paying a fee, or by providing their Social Security number or other sensitive personal information. And you can't pay to jump the line and COVID vaccines should be free, even for people without insurance. And I want to repeat that. The COVID vaccine should be free even with people without insurance. And so, always turn to trusted sources, such as your doctor or health care professional or local health departments for guidance and information around the distribution of the vaccine. And visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork to learn more about these and other scams, or call Fraud Watch Network Helpline at [877] 908-3360.

[00:49:00] So now it's time to address more of your questions with Dr. Villanueva, Mr. Clarence Anthony and Dr. Arthur Evans. And Dr. Quartey, who do we have on the line for our next call?

[00:49:20]Nii-Quartelai Quartey:  Hi, Shani, we're going to go to Collette in Pennsylvania with her question. Collette, you're on.

[00:49:29]Collette:  Yes, good afternoon. My question is, myself and my coworker, we had our first shot taken last Sunday. At her place of employment, though, they test for the COVID on a regular basis. They tested yesterday and they came up positive having the virus. But my question is, wouldn't that be normal if they were just given the vaccine? Wouldn't that, isn't that logical that they would test positive because some of the vaccine had some of the virus in it? So it doesn't necessarily mean that they do have the virus?

[00:50:12]Shani Hosten:  Thank you, Collette for that question. I'm going to turn that to Dr. Villanueva to provide an answer for that.

[00:50:22]Rachel Villanueva:  Thank you, and that's such an important question, Collette, and I think many, many people probably have the same question. It's really important to keep in mind that there's no virus in the vaccine, right, so those mRNA vaccines, the ones that are the two doses, they actually don't carry any virus within the vaccine. So what the vaccine is, is really information. It's almost like the recipe that lets your body know how to develop the proteins or the antibodies that will fight the COVID virus, but it doesn't contain any COVID virus. So it really highlights the one thing that we have been talking about so much when we've been talking about the virus, is that people can be asymptomatic, which is that they don't have any symptoms of COVID, but they've been exposed, and they could give it to somebody else. And we know that that's been such a large percentage of how people have been infected and how easily it's spread throughout the country. Because people like your coworker don't think they have anything, they feel fine, but they've been exposed, and then they carry the virus and now they can give it to somebody else.

[00:51:42] So the positive PCR test was not related to the vaccine actually. It really was an asymptomatic carrier. Those are those very dangerous carriers actually, because they think and look and act fine, and but they can actually spread the virus to other people, which is why getting vaccinated is really important for all of us.

[00:52:08]Shani Hosten:  Great. Thank you. Thank you so much. Dr. Quartey, who's our next caller?

[00:52:15]Nii-Quartelai Quartey:  Our next caller is Glenda from Florida. Glenda?

[00:52:25]Shani Hosten:  Hi, Glenda. You're live, thank you.

[00:52:30]Glenda:  Thank you. First, I want to just thank AARP for having the willingness to have this discussion with our community, which have some unique challenges as Black people. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

[00:52:44]Shani Hosten:  Thank you.

[00:52:45]Glenda:  OK. So I read where the length of the immunity for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine is about six months. I want to know exactly what this means, and does this indeed mean that I will need to take a booster shot or be revaccinated after six months?

[00:53:04]Shani Hosten:  Great question. I'm going to turn that to Dr. Villanueva.

[00:53:04]Rachel Villanueva:  I don't want to monopolize the call, but OK. Glenda, you are keeping right up with the latest information. And with COVID-19, the information is coming in and changes weekly and sometimes even daily, because this information just came out, today, yesterday. So you know, we have to keep in mind that our information about the vaccine and our immunity to the vaccine is ongoing, that the trials are still ongoing. We're getting information in real time. So before this information came out in the last day or so, we thought the immunity was three months, because that's the length of time we had actually studied so far. Right? Now we've studied for six months. So we know that the vaccines are still 90 percent effective after six months. That doesn't mean it's not effective for longer. It just means we don't have that data information yet. So it's very likely that it will, it may last longer, we don't have that information yet. It's only been a few months. So we know that it's six months, which is great, and we're hoping that it will be longer. But, you know, just like the flu vaccine, sometimes there has to be a yearly vaccine because it mutates and changes. And I think we just have to do exactly what Glenda has been doing and keep up with the latest information of what's going on. And we just will have to see what happens. But I think, everything's really happening in real time, and so we have to be patient and then just keep up with the information.

[00:55:16]Shani Hosten:  And Dr. Villanueva, thank you for that. And thanks, Glenda, for your question. And that's why AARP continues to have these calls, because we know the information is changing or evolving. So I encourage Glenda to keep an eye out for additional AARP tele-town hall information meetings, as well. I want to move on to Dr. Quartey, I think we have time for maybe one more question from our callers?

[00:55:41]Nii-Quartelai Quartey:  Yeah, yeah, we have no shortage of questions here. We're going to go to Barbara from North Carolina with her question. Barbara, you're live.

[00:55:53]Shani Hosten:  Hi, Barbara. Go ahead with your question. Barbara, are you there?

[00:56:01]Barbara:  Yes, hello?

[00:56:07]Shani Hosten:  Hi, Barbara, go ahead with your question, you're live. Thank you.

[00:56:11]Barbara:  Oh, I'm sorry. I thought I had already given my question, but my question was, my concern was, that so many African Americans, they're already a statistic of having passed from the virus, so I was wondering, is it simply because our race has more problems that are conducive to the virus, or, you know, is it some type of gene or something that is causing our race to be more vulnerable to the virus? That's basically what my question was. And I think I've heard some answers as far as the condition that, you know, maybe more of our race is in, but is that underlining problem, or is it something that we are doing or have done as far as our health is concerned?

[00:57:26]Shani Hosten:  Well, thank you so much for that question. And, Mr. Anthony touched on that a little bit, but Mr. Anthony, if you would like to expand upon that, that will be helpful.

[00:57:36]Clarence Anthony:  Yeah, thank you so much, Barbara, for that question. I think it is historical and it's also systemic. And it goes back to some of the health issues that our community has had historically, and, you know, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some of that is because of the way America has included us or excluded us. You know, if you think about asthma, for example, you find a lot of our communities are close to railroad tracks and incinerators and urban communities, and the quality of water sometimes in rural communities. You can talk about the lack of health care and access. And so, when our body, and I'm not a medical doctor, that's why we have Dr. Villanueva on, when our body contracts these kinds of viruses, we don't have the system in place in order to fight it. So what we are wanting to do is to make sure that through all of what we have learned, we want to address some of those systemic and institutional systems of racism that has existed. So I'm committed to working with local leaders to be able to use these coronavirus relief funds, as well as the American Rescue Fund, to be able to address these things. And I tell you, AARP is a good resource, and I'm telling all of my members that we should partner with AARP regionally, as well as nationally, because we need to address this, as well as the National Medical Association, who's providing great data and information here today.

[00:59:30]Shani Hosten:  Thank you so much, Mr. Anthony. And we appreciate the collaboration and partnerships, and we know that we can't do it alone at AARP, so that's why we appreciate the partnership. So great comments there and great questions.

[00:59:42] Before we close, I do want to have the opportunity to have you all weigh in for any closing thoughts or recommendations that our listeners should understand most coming out of our conversation today. We've covered a lot, but are there closing comments that you all could share with our listeners as we close out today? And let's start with Dr. Evans.

[01:00:03]Arthur Evans:  Sure, thank you. Well again, thank you for inviting me to be a part of this. I think our message from the American Psychological Association is to really understand that this pandemic is affecting both our mental health and our physical health. And the data is really clear on the impact that it's having on African American mental health and really encourage people to one, pay attention to that, but two, take steps to address their mental health even as we're coming out of the pandemic. We know that the mental health aspects of this are going to be with us for quite a bit of time. And then, finally, just to do what is going to really help you and your families be safe, and it's clear that getting vaccinated can really make a big difference. And so I really encourage people to not only think about yourself, but then who else in your life, in your circle needs to get that information and may need a little encouragement or support to actually also take those steps.

[01:01:12]Shani Hosten:  Thank you. Thank you so much, Dr. Evans, for those remarks. And I want to move on now to Mr. Anthony. Any closing remarks today for our listeners?

[01:01:21]Clarence Anthony:  Yeah, the only thing I'd add is listen to the experts. Listen to Dr. Evans because he is right, Shani, that this has impacted our mental, as well as physical health, as well as, listen to Dr. Villanueva, because the doctor is right on as it relates to making sure that we get the right information and become comfortable. And finally, I'll say to you, I had the same journey that many of you may be going through and being hesitant nine months ago. But as I have learned about the science associated with this and the health issues that I needed to get educated on, it was the right thing for me. And I hope that you all, who may be hesitant, will go through your journey, but please, get the right data, get the right information.

[01:02:20]Shani Hosten:  Excellent. Excellent. Thank you, Mr. Anthony, and speaking of information and data as well, I want to turn it over to Dr. Villanueva for closing thoughts.

[01:02:33]Rachel Villanueva:  Thank you so much Shani, and thank you again to AARP for facilitating the conversation today, and for continuing to facilitate conversations that will improve our community. And I think that there's no question that our community has been overburdened with COVID-19 and the impact that it's had on us mentally and physically in our communities. And I think that, although many will say that our community is hesitant, I think even research has recently showed we're the group of individuals that are really asking a lot of questions, and we're the most persuadable group of people, meaning that once our questions are answered, once we hear from experts and get the information, we actually will make the choice to get the vaccine. And I think that's so important for us to keep in mind, that it is OK to ask questions. These are really scary and unprecedented times. We say that over and over again, but it's such an important thing. You know, this is all new for all of us, so it's OK to have questions, it's OK to ask the questions and want to know more information. And hopefully, once you get that information, you'll decide that that the vaccine is what you'll ultimately get, will ultimately take the vaccine. And I think that it's really important to keep in mind that this is the way we're going to stem the tide of death in our community, and it's our community that's dying and hospitalized and overburdened, and we have to keep that in mind. So I, again, I thank AARP so, so very much, because I think there are so many individuals who need to hear this information, and as many times as I'm invited to come back, I will absolutely come back because I think the conversation is important so that we keep our community safe, we keep our loved ones safe and we try to get back to a more normal life again.

[01:04:49]Shani Hosten:  Thank you so very much, Dr. Villanueva, we appreciate those comments and you taking the time. And thank each of you, Dr. Villanueva, Mr. Clarence Anthony, and Dr. Arthur Evans for taking your time today to share information, answer questions and provide trusted information, specifically as it relates to the Black community. And it's been said today that our recovery is going to be slower, we know that, but if we have trusted information, we can make informed decisions. And thank you to our AARP members, our volunteers and listeners for participating in this discussion today.

[01:05:25] AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has been working to promote health and well-being for older Americans for more than 60 years. And in the face of this crisis, we are providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus, prevent its spread to others while taking care of themselves. All of the resources that are referenced, including a recording of today's Q&A event, can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus on April 2. Again, the web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. So go there if your questions were not addressed today. Dr. Quartey, I can't thank you enough for helping to facilitate those conversations and questions. We know there are more, but you will find the latest updates, as well as information created specifically for older people and adults and family caregivers, at aarp.org/coronavirus.

[01:06:25] We hope you learned something and can take that today to help keep you and your loved ones healthy. And please tune in on April 8, for two more live events where we'll discuss COVID-19 vaccines. At 1 p.m. ET on April 8, we'll focus on COVID vaccine distribution and caring for family members, and at 7 p.m. ET on April 8, we're going to discuss coronavirus and Latinos. Thank you and have a good day. This concludes our call.

[01:07:01]

Teleasamblea sobre el coronavirus

EL CORONAVIRUS Y LA COMUNIDAD NEGRA:

RESPUESTAS A TUS PREGUNTAS SOBRE LAS VACUNAS

 

Participan:

 

Rachel Villanueva, M.D., presidenta electa de la National Medical Association

 

Clarence Anthony, director ejecutivo de la National League of Cities

 

Arthur C. Evans, Jr., Ph.D., director ejecutivo de la American Psychological Association

 

Nii-Quartelai Quartey, Ed.D., Educación sobre la vacuna contra la COVID-19, director de Participación Multicultural, AARP

 

Shani Hosten, moderadora, vicepresidenta de AARP

 

 

Shani Hosten: Hola, soy la vicepresidenta de AARP, Shani Hosten, y quiero darles la bienvenida a este importante debate sobre el coronavirus. Antes de comenzar, si deseas escuchar esta teleasamblea en español, por favor presiona *0 en el teclado de tu teléfono.

 

AARP, una organización sin fines de lucro, no partidista con membresía ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores durante más de 60 años. Frente a la pandemia mundial de coronavirus, AARP está proporcionando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan.

 

Hoy vamos a discutir lo último sobre la pandemia, la seguridad y el acceso a las vacunas y lo que significa la distribución continua de vacunas para la comunidad negra. Estamos teniendo esta discusión ya que los datos continúan mostrando que los afroamericanos están siendo más afectados por la pandemia y el acceso a las vacunas; aunque está mejorando, sabemos que no ha sido equitativo. Contamos con distinguidos expertos disponibles hoy para responder a sus preguntas críticas.

 

Para aquellos de ustedes que se unan a nosotros por teléfono, si deseas hacer una pregunta sobre la pandemia de coronavirus, presiona * 3 en tu teléfono para comunicarte con un miembro del personal de AARP que anotará tu nombre y tu pregunta y te ubicará en una cola para hacer esa pregunta en vivo. Y si quieres escuchar esta teleasamblea en español pulsa ahora * 0 en el teclado de tu teléfono. Si te unes a nosotros por Facebook o YouTube, puedes publicar tu pregunta en los comentarios.

 

Hola. Si acabas de unirte, soy Shani Hosten, de AARP, y quiero darles la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre la pandemia mundial de coronavirus. Hoy estaremos hablando con principales expertos y respondiendo sus preguntas en vivo. Para hacer sus preguntas, presionen * 3 y, si se unen a través de Facebook o YouTube, pueden publicar sus preguntas en los comentarios.

 

Hoy estamos muy agradecidos de que algunos líderes destacados nos acompañen hoy de la National Medical Association, la National League of Cities y la American Psychological Association. También nos acompañará el Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey, líder de participación multicultural de educación sobre vacunas contra la COVID-19, de AARP, quien ayudará a facilitar sus llamadas.

 

Este evento de hoy se está grabando y podrán acceder a la grabación en aarp.org/elcoronavirus 24 horas después de que terminemos nuestra llamada. Nuevamente, para hacer una pregunta, presionen * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de su teléfono para conectarse con el personal de AARP. O si nos acompañan a través de Facebook o YouTube, escriban su pregunta en los comentarios. Así que ahora me gustaría dar la bienvenida a nuestros invitados.

 

La Dra. Rachel Villanueva es la presidenta electa de la National Medical Association, donde tomará las riendas el próximo mes de julio, y representará a 50,000 médicos afroamericanos y a los pacientes a los que atienden, y es la principal fuerza para la paridad y justicia en medicina y eliminación de disparidades en salud. Bienvenida Dra. Villanueva.

 

Rachel Villanueva: Gracias.

 

Shani Hosten: Luego, tenemos al Sr. Clarence Anthony. Es el director ejecutivo de la National League of Cities, que representa a más de 2,000 ciudades en todo el país. Bajo su liderazgo, NLC tiene políticas avanzadas que hacen de la raza y la equidad una prioridad. Gracias por acompañarnos y bienvenido de nuevo, Sr. Anthony.

 

Clarence Anthony: Muchas gracias. Y gracias por invitarme.

 

Shani Hosten: Y luego tenemos al Dr. Arthur Evans. Es el director ejecutivo de la American Psychological Association, la organización científica y profesional líder que representa a la psicología en Estados Unidos con más de 121,000 miembros. Gracias por estar aquí, Dr. Evans.

 

Arthur C. Evans: Gracias. Me siento honrado de estar aquí.

 

Shani Hosten: Ahora comencemos con nuestra discusión. Y solo como recordatorio, para hacer una pregunta, presionen * 3 en el teclado de su teléfono y también pueden colocarla en la sección de comentarios en Facebook o YouTube. Bien, ahora escuchemos a nuestros expertos. Me gustaría comenzar con una pregunta para todos ustedes. La COVID-19 ha tenido un impacto devastador en las personas mayores de color. Y a medida que las vacunas estén más disponibles, ¿qué es lo que creen más importante que la gente debería saber? Y comenzaré la conversación con la Dra. Villanueva y luego pasaré al Dr. Anthony, Sr. Anthony y Dr. Evans. Entonces, Dra. Villanueva.

 

Rachel Villanueva: Muchas gracias, Shani. Y gracias por incluir a la National Medical Association como parte de esta conversación. Creo que es difícil decir cuál es la única cosa importante, así que solo voy a mencionar algunas cosas importantes, ya que la mayoría de los médicos no dirán solo una cosa, creo que es muy importante que todos tengan en cuenta que la pandemia sigue siendo en gran medida una crisis de salud pública. Entonces, aunque somos muy optimistas con el avance de las nuevas tecnologías y las vacunas y las personas que se vacunan, creo que realmente debemos tener en cuenta que la crisis todavía está aquí.

 

Y todavía debemos ser muy cuidadosos y estar muy atentos a mantenernos a salvo, vacunados o no. Creo que también es importante tener en cuenta que el riesgo de enfermedad grave asociada con la COVID-19 aumenta con la edad. Por lo tanto, los adultos mayores corren el mayor riesgo, los adultos mayores que tienen el mayor riesgo de requerir hospitalización y morir, desafortunadamente.

 

Y sabemos que el 80% de las muertes relacionadas con COVID-19 suceden entre personas de 65 años o más. Y además, si tienes un problema médico subyacente o un problema médico adicional, como presión arterial alta o diabetes o incluso obesidad, incluso estar por encima del peso corporal ideal, eso también los pondrá en un riesgo aún mayor de contraer la enfermedad grave por COVID-19. Y finalmente, también sabemos que el riesgo en nuestra comunidad, la comunidad negra tiene tres veces más riesgo de que ocurran hospitalizaciones y dos veces más riesgo de que ocurran muertes con respecto a la población promedio en Estados Unidos.

 

Por lo tanto, debemos mantener todas esas cosas realmente a la vanguardia, aunque sabemos que las vacunas nos ayudarán a volver a la vida normal, que debemos ser muy cuidadosos y continuar con todas esas prácticas, esas estrategias que nos mantienen a salvo, usar una mascarilla, lavarnos las manos, evitar tocarnos los ojos y la nariz y la boca, el distanciamiento social y, por último, vacunarnos. Cuando esté disponible para ti, por favor, vacúnate.

 

Shani Hosten: Muchas gracias, Dra. Villanueva, por compartir esos importantes consejos y cosas que debemos seguir teniendo en cuenta, ya que todavía estamos, como usted mencionó, en la pandemia. Así que pasaré al Sr. Anthony si desea opinar sobre esa pregunta, ¿cuáles son las cosas más importantes que cree que la gente debería saber?

 

Clarence Anthony: Bueno, nuevamente, gracias, AARP por tenernos de regreso en esta importante conversación en nombre de la National League of Cities y todos nuestros líderes municipales, alcaldes, miembros del consejo en todo Estados Unidos. Este es un tema importante porque queremos asegurarnos de que nuestras comunidades se estén recuperando y, de hecho, se vuelvan más vibrantes y prósperas a medida que atravesamos este momento desafiante. Hay un par de cosas que creo que son importantes para enmarcar esta conversación. Y seamos realmente directos porque es un momento importante en nuestra nación, ya sabes, es de tres a cuatro veces que las personas negras tienden a contraer más la enfermedad del coronavirus que nuestros colegas blancos.

 

Es un hecho. Y también estamos muriendo a una tasa más alta, el doble que la de otras poblaciones. Y nos estamos quedando atrás en lo que respecta a recibir la vacuna como porcentaje de la población en la mayoría de las ciudades de Estados Unidos. Por eso, quiero decir sin rodeos que existe la preocupación de que no queremos que nos utilicen como conejillos de indias, especialmente nuestra población anciana. Así que sé que realmente tenemos que hablar de eso hoy, pero también quiero animarnos a que queramos vivir una vida larga y saludable. Así que esta conversación de hoy trata de obtener nueva información sobre las formas de hacerlo. Gracias.

 

Shani Hosten: Por supuesto. Y gracias, Sr. Anthony, por compartir eso porque la información definitivamente es poderosa y nos ayuda a tomar esas decisiones informadas. Así que quiero pasar al Dr. Evans para que él opine, si quiere, ¿qué es lo más importante que cree que la gente debería saber, Dr. Evans?

 

Arthur C. Evans: Bueno, nuevamente, gracias por invitarme. La American Psychological Association ha estado muy involucrada en estos temas desde el comienzo de la pandemia y ha analizado realmente tanto el impacto psicológico como el impacto que la pandemia está teniendo en las personas, así como algunos de los problemas de comportamiento y hablaré un minuto sobre eso.

 

Desde el punto de vista de la salud mental, sabemos que la pandemia ha tenido un impacto muy significativo en nuestra salud mental en general. Hacemos una encuesta llamada Estrés en Estados Unidos cada año, y durante la pandemia en realidad volvimos a hacerla varias veces solo para ver cómo los niveles de estrés se vieron afectados por la pandemia en la población.

 

E inmediatamente después de la pandemia, vimos un aumento por primera vez desde que hemos estado haciendo esto durante muchos años, vimos un aumento en los niveles de estrés general de las personas que se ha mantenido bastante alto durante la pandemia. Cuando preguntamos a las personas, alrededor del 80%, más del 80% de las personas dicen que su salud mental se ha visto afectada negativamente por la pandemia.

 

Y luego, cuando observamos a los afroamericanos en particular, su nivel de estrés es aún más alto. Y es debido a una confluencia no solo de la pandemia, tenemos los problemas económicos, que muchas personas han perdido su trabajo, tienes las tensiones raciales que han sucedido. Y tienes el impacto desproporcionado que la pandemia ha tenido en la comunidad afroamericana. Entonces, cuando sumas todo eso, pinta una imagen de la comunidad que está experimentando mucho estrés.

 

Nuestras encuestas más recientes demuestran que durante la pandemia las personas están aumentando bastante de peso, por lo general alrededor de 15 libras, y aproximadamente el 40% de la población, en general, ha aumentado de peso, aproximadamente el 20% ha perdido peso, aumento de peso o pérdida de peso no deseados. Entonces, esto ya está comenzando a tener un impacto no solo en nuestra salud mental, sino también en nuestra salud física.

 

La gente también está sufriendo perturbaciones del sueño. Las personas duermen más de lo que quieren o menos de lo que quieren. Y lo realmente preocupante es que el 25% de las personas dicen que están bebiendo más para ayudar a sobrellevar su estrés. Entonces, lo que eso dice es que realmente tenemos que prestar atención a nuestra salud mental a medida que atravesamos esto, que incluso después de vacunarnos, los aspectos de salud mental de esto permanecerán con nosotros durante bastante tiempo.

 

Y particularmente en nuestra comunidad y comunidades afroamericanas, es realmente importante prestar atención a estos problemas porque nuestra salud mental afecta nuestra salud física, pero también afecta nuestras redes sociales y familiares. Entonces, realmente sugeriría que las personas sean conscientes de lo que estamos viendo en términos del impacto en la salud mental y realmente tomen medidas para abordar algunos de los desafíos de salud mental que estamos experimentando.

 

Shani Hosten: Gracias, Dr. Evans, por compartir esa información importante sobre nuestra salud mental y otro aspecto que tendremos que considerar a medida que avanzamos. Gracias a cada uno de ustedes por opinar sobre esos temas. Y vamos a profundizar en algo de eso a medida que avancemos con nuestra conversación de hoy. Como recordatorio, llegaremos a las preguntas de los oyentes en breve. Para hacer las preguntas, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono.

 

Está claro que la pandemia está arrojando luz sobre las disparidades raciales, y eso existía mucho antes de esta crisis, pero realmente se ha visto agravado por ella. Y me gustaría que nuestros oyentes sepan que AARP se enfoca en combatir esas disparidades. Hemos abogado a nivel federal, estatal y local por una mayor transparencia de datos y acciones para proteger a nuestros residentes y personal en hogares de ancianos e instalaciones de atención a largo plazo, especialmente porque los datos han demostrado que las personas de color en estos centros se han visto mucho más afectadas.

 

Además, en lugares como Nueva York, Míchigan, Massachusetts, Carolina del Sur y Nueva Jersey y California, AARP está trabajando para garantizar una mayor recopilación de datos raciales y étnicos, divulgación y pruebas para las personas de color y buscando compromiso de los líderes para abordar problemas subyacentes relacionados con el hambre, el acceso a la salud, el transporte y otros temas. En todo el país, existe un patrón constante de personas negras e hispanas que reciben una menor proporción de vacunas, lo cual se mencionó, en comparación con la proporción de casos y muertes que representan. Y no podemos permitir que estas disparidades crezcan.

 

Es por eso que estamos trabajando por un acceso equitativo a las vacunas contra el coronavirus y nos asociamos con organizaciones, como muchas de las que están representadas aquí en esta llamada hoy, a nivel nacional, estatal y local para brindarles la información más reciente. Y pueden obtener más información sobre este trabajo y otros temas en www.aarp.org/infovacuna. En ese sentido, Dra. Villanueva, con tres vacunas que se distribuyen en Estados Unidos, ¿puede compartir con nosotros cómo los adultos mayores y los afroamericanos estuvieron representados en los ensayos de las vacunas que se están distribuyendo en Estados Unidos?

 

Rachel Villanueva: Gracias. Esa es una excelente pregunta porque, obviamente, sabemos que incluso con otros medicamentos y vacunas, es posible que las cosas no afecten a las poblaciones diferentes de la misma manera. Por eso es importante que analicemos estos diferentes factores. Como han dicho, hay tres vacunas que recibieron autorización de uso de emergencia, y las vacunas de Pfizer BioNTech y de Moderna requieren dos dosis, y la vacuna Janssen de Johnson & Johnson, requiere una dosis.

 

Los ensayos de la vacuna de Pfizer incluyeron al 10% de la población del estudio, que fue de aproximadamente 44,000 individuos, por lo que el estudio fue muy grande, el 10% eran afroamericanos y el 41% mayores de 56 años. Para el estudio de Moderna, en el que se estudiaron 32,000 individuos, el 10% eran negros y el 25% de ellos tenían más de 65 años, de hecho, quise decir 65 para la Pfizer, en lugar de 56. Mi dislexia.

 

La vacuna de Johnson & Johnson tenía el 13% de afroamericanos en la población de los individuos del estudio, y aunque parece que es un buen número tener del 10% al 13% porque eso refleja aproximadamente el número de afroamericanos en el país, lo cual es bueno. No hay nada malo en eso, pero en realidad, cuando pensamos en el mayor número de personas en nuestra comunidad afectadas por esta pandemia, en realidad nos hubiera gustado ver incluso más de la población de estudio incluida, ya sabes, representativa de cuántos de nuestros individuos de nuestra comunidad se ven afectados por el virus. Pero bueno, si estamos analizando estudios en general, creo que hicieron un muy buen trabajo al tratar de tener una buena representación de los afroamericanos en el estudio.

 

Shani Hosten: Gracias, Dra. Villanueva. Está bien. Es útil saberlo. Muy útil. Entonces, Sr. Anthony, quiero pasar a usted y, dado que los estados y las comunidades locales son responsables del lanzamiento de la vacuna, ¿qué están haciendo los Gobiernos locales para garantizar que las personas tengan un acceso equitativo a las vacunas en sus comunidades locales?

 

Clarence Anthony: Sí, gracias por esa pregunta porque creo que muchos de los datos muestran y hablan sobre la desconfianza de la vacuna como la razón por la que los afroamericanos no se están vacunando. Y parte de eso es cierto, pero asegurarse de que exista una asociación con el departamento de salud, las organizaciones sin fines de lucro, la comunidad de la iglesia, las organizaciones comunitarias como la YMCA, es muy, muy importante para abordar el problema real. Y creo que eso es acceso a la vacuna, asegurarse de que los líderes de la ciudad y otros socios obtengan transporte gratuito a los sitios de la vacuna porque muchas de las comunidades no tienen las opciones de transporte que tienen las otras.

 

Estamos diciendo que se mantengan a seis pies de distancia, que tengan cuidado con lo que tocan, pero estamos diciendo súbete a un autobús, súbete a un tren para vacunarte. Eso no es lo que proponen nuestros líderes locales. Están intentando conseguir los sitios en las comunidades reales. Y también, creo que las ciudades de Minnesota están trabajando con otras empresas para poder encuestar a los ciudadanos y decir: "Si, de hecho, lo conseguimos, ¿cómo y dónde deberíamos ubicar los sitios en la comunidad?" Entonces, los líderes locales están tratando de asegurarse de que tengamos información vital para compartir sobre la vacuna donde se encuentra.

 

Si eres un residente que no habla inglés, ¿cómo podemos ayudarte a obtener los servicios de traducción? Lo que más me preocupa y muchas veces no creo que nos enfoquemos son las comunidades rurales y los ancianos que se encuentran en esas comunidades. Realmente están inquietos por recibir la vacuna. Les preocupa el acceso y les preocupa su conocimiento. Entonces, los líderes de nuestra ciudad y nuestros socios están trabajando para asegurarse de que nos concentremos en esas comunidades pequeñas y en las personas mayores en esas comunidades, por lo que hay mucho trabajo por hacer para generar confianza, pero también el acceso es muy clave.

 

Shani Hosten: Bueno, genial. Así que gracias, gracias, Sr. Anthony y gracias por todo el trabajo que está haciendo para brindar ese acceso. Quiero pasar al Dr. Evans. Usted mencionó anteriormente que hemos estado viviendo en esta pandemia durante más de un año y ¿cuál ha sido el impacto de la pandemia en la salud física y mental de las personas? Usted lo mencionó, pero, ¿dice que los afroamericanos se han visto afectados en un grado aún mayor?

 

Arthur C. Evans: Sí, y creo que por varias razones, en términos generales, cuando observamos los niveles de estrés en la comunidad afroamericana, son más altos que el resto de la población en general. Y lo que vimos a través de la pandemia debido al impacto diferencial que tuvo ha sido que continuamos viendo la diferencia de que los afroamericanos tienen niveles de estrés más altos. Pero hay otra pieza que creo que es realmente importante entender aquí.

 

No es solo la pandemia, la pandemia en sí misma sería extremadamente estresante. Hemos tenido algunos incidentes muy horribles con respecto a los afroamericanos, lo que muestran nuestras encuestas es que esas cosas afectan a los afroamericanos, la comunidad negra. Lo interesante es que muchos de los incidentes raciales que han ocurrido contra los negros también han sido inquietantes y estresantes para las personas blancas también.

 

Lo que sorprende es que más del 50% de los blancos digan que estas cosas también les resultan angustiantes. Entonces, ya sabes, es ese aditivo y la superposición de estos diferentes factores estresantes lo que estamos experimentando y el aislamiento, el dolor, la gente que no puede hacer el duelo, ya sabes, he sufrido pérdidas en mi propia familia, muchas personas sufren pérdidas en su familia, algunos debido a la COVID-19, otros no. No puedo hacer el duelo y ese tipo de cosas.

 

Aquellos tienen un impacto agregado en nosotros. Por eso es muy importante entender eso para ser consciente de eso y dar algún paso. Entonces, lo primero que pongo en la parte superior de la lista es el apoyo social, y lo que eso significa es ¿quiénes son las personas en nuestra vida que nos brindan apoyo? Eso es probablemente lo más alto, una de las cosas que es el mayor indicador de qué tan bien nos va en la vida en general, pero qué tan bien nos va con nuestra salud física, con nuestra salud mental.

 

Cuanta más gente tengamos que pueda apoyarnos, mejor. Y uno de los hallazgos útiles de nuestra encuesta es que el 84% de las personas dijeron que usando llamadas virtuales, telefónicas o de video, esas conexiones realmente les ayudan. Hubo cierta preocupación al principio de esto porque estábamos diciendo, por un lado, el apoyo social es realmente importante, por otro lado, no pasemos tiempo cerca de la gente y, por lo tanto, realmente nos aislamos de las cosas que normalmente nos ayudan.

 

Pero durante este período en el que tenemos que mantenernos físicamente distantes, debemos ser muy conscientes de hacer un esfuerzo deliberado para mantenernos conectados socialmente a través de los medios y otros mecanismos. Así que puse eso en la parte superior de la lista, pero también hacer algunas cosas básicas para nuestra propia salud, ya sabes, comer bien, dormir bien en la medida en que las personas puedan hacer algo de actividad física, todas esas cosas ayudan con nuestro nivel de estrés, pero también ayudan a algunas de las cosas poco saludables que estamos viendo como resultado de la pandemia, el aumento de peso, las alteraciones del sueño, etc.

 

Entonces, ya sabes, el apoyo social y hacer cosas para cuidarnos físicamente y luego la tercera cosa que agregaría es ser muy intencional en hacer cosas placenteras, porque una de las cosas que sucedió durante la pandemia es que la gente ha dejado de hacer muchas de las cosas que les complacen y sabemos por el trabajo que hacemos con los psicólogos y, de hecho, una de las estrategias que empleamos con las personas es lograr que las personas mantengan la intención de hacer las cosas que les complacen. Así que realmente animo a la gente a pensar en cuáles son esas cosas, y luego cómo puedo hacer que esas cosas sucedan incluso durante esta pandemia, que serán útiles en términos de ayudar a las personas a manejar sus niveles de estrés y angustia.

 

Shani Hosten: Genial. Genial. Muchas gracias, Dr. Evans. Muy importante con este enfoque en el apoyo social y realmente el autocuidado durante este tiempo, muy crítico. Antes de responder a las preguntas de nuestros socios, queremos abordar un tema importante que se ha mencionado hoy y sabemos que muchos de ustedes en las llamadas están teniendo dificultades para registrarse para la vacuna en su estado y comunidad y porque muchos lugares requieren llenar inscripciones en línea. Y si no tienes acceso a una computadora, esto puede ser un verdadero desafío.

 

AARP quiere ayudar, y hemos establecido un equipo de registro de vacunas de AARP para tratar de ayudar en estos casos. Así que hoy, si estás escuchando y no tienes una computadora y no puedes registrarte para una vacuna en tu comunidad, por favor ten en cuenta que no tener acceso a tecnología no debería ser un obstáculo. Queremos que presiones 1 ahora mismo para agregarte a una lista y recibir una llamada telefónica del personal de AARP para ayudarte.

 

Nuevamente, si no tienes acceso a una computadora, para registrarte, presiona 1 para ser agregado a una lista y recibir una llamada de un miembro del personal de AARP que te ayudará. Nuevamente, si no tienes acceso a internet, eso no debería ser un impedimento para recibir la vacuna que deseas, por lo que, nuevamente, presiona 1 para ser agregado a la lista para recibir una llamada telefónica y cuando presiones 1, se te pedirá que confirmes esa selección y, a continuación, volverás a esta llamada. Entonces, nuevamente, presiona 1.

 

Ahora vayamos a sus preguntas. Como recordatorio, para hacer preguntas, presiona * 3 para preguntas, * 3. Y ahora me gustaría traer al educador en vacunas COVID-19 de AARP, Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey, líder de participación multicultural para ayudar a facilitar esta llamada. Bienvenido, Dr. Quartey.

 

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Gracias, Shani. Qué buena conversación. Tenemos muchas preguntas. Así que sigamos adelante y vamos por ellas. Vayamos a Angela en Maryland.

 

Shani Hosten: Hola, Angela en Maryland. Continúa con tu pregunta, ya estás en vivo.

 

Angela: ¿Puedes oírme?

 

Shani Hosten: Sí, podemos. Gracias.

 

Angela: Oh, gracias. Hola, mi nombre es Angie. Acabo de recibir mi segunda inyección de la vacuna Moderna el jueves pasado, el jueves pasado, debería decir, no este jueves que pasó, sino el jueves pasado. Y quiero organizar una pequeña fiesta de cumpleaños para mi hermana, no más de 10 asistentes. Todos los asistentes habrían sido completamente vacunados. Ahora dicen que se necesitan dos semanas para estar completamente vacunado. ¿Puedo organizar una pequeña fiesta de cumpleaños para mi hermana el próximo martes que solo hubieran sido 12 días?

 

Shani Hosten: Gracias, Angie, por tu pregunta, y se la voy a dejar a la Dra. Villanueva para que la responda para ti.

 

Rachel Villanueva: Angie, es un gusto charlar contigo. Suenas como la hermana que me gustaría tener. No tengo una hermana, así que no estoy arrojando sombra sobre nadie, pero suenas como una hermana muy cariñosa, así que eso es genial. Estoy tan contenta de que te hayas vacunado. Y sí, quiero decir, las pautas dicen que uno está completamente vacunado dos semanas después de su última dosis. También sabemos que dos semanas después de la primera dosis, uno está vacunado al 80%.

 

Entonces creo que los porcentajes son muy buenos y estás casi completamente cubierta. Creo que sería útil asegurarse de lo que has dicho que todas las personas a las que estás invitando están completamente vacunadas, ¿estarán en un área bien ventilada? Ella no puede responder. Lo siento. Lo siento. Ella no respondió. Así que creo que solo queremos asegurarnos de que continúes teniendo el mayor cuidado posible en un área bien ventilada, sin dejar de usar una mascarilla.

 

Creo que eso sería importante solo porque técnicamente no estamos en esa marca de dos semanas, pero sabemos que incluso después de esa primera dosis de vacuna, tenías un 80% menos de probabilidades de contraer una enfermedad grave, por lo que estabas muy bien protegida. Así que creo que la pequeña reunión estaría bien, pero aún así continuaría con todas esas estrategias que sabemos que realmente ayudan a disminuir la transmisión del virus en cualquier evento.

 

Shani Hosten: Está bien, genial. Gracias, Dra. Villanueva. Muy bien, volvamos a la línea. ¿A quién tenemos ahora, Dr. Quartey?

 

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Shani, tenemos a Joyce de Virginia en directo en la línea.

 

Shani Hosten: Oh, bien. Hola, Joyce de Virginia, ¿cómo estás?

 

Joyce: Estoy muy bien. ¿Y usted?

 

Shani Hosten: Estoy bien, gracias. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Joyce: Vi en mi Facebook ayer, decían que había una confusión en la fábrica que ejecutaba hasta 15 millones de dosis de vacunas de Johnson & Johnson. Y me preguntaba, ¿algo de eso sucedió en el campo? ¿Y qué tan peligroso sería, si así fuera?

 

Shani Hosten: Entonces, Dra. Villanueva, si puede opinar sobre eso, y luego, si alguno de los otros panelistas también quiere hacerlo, sería útil.

 

Rachel Villanueva: Hola Joyce, gracias por la pregunta. Creo que lo que ocurrió realmente tuvo más que ver con el retraso de los envíos y en realidad no ha involucrado ninguna vacuna que se haya distribuido a las personas. Entonces es realmente una confusión. Eso retrasó la vacuna. Entonces eso es lamentable para nosotros. Es un retraso en la producción pero no propone riesgo ni efectos adversos, ninguna de las vacunas que ya salieron tienen... No hay problemas con esas vacunas que ya salieron. Así que pueden estar seguros de eso.

 

Shani Hosten: Bien. Bien bien. Dr. Evans o Sr. Anthony, ¿les importaría intervenir en eso desde una perspectiva local?

 

Clarence Anthony: Lo único que agregaré es que estoy de acuerdo con la Dra. Villanueva porque la historia fue solo sobre un error humano en las instalaciones de Baltimore, y lo que causó la confusión de acuerdo con lo que he leído y escuchado de algunos de los líderes comunitarios, dicen que simplemente retrasó algunas de las dosis adicionales, pero no fueron las dosis que se enviaron.

 

Shani Hosten: Bien. Gracias. Gracias por eso. Dr. Quartey, ¿hay otra pregunta en la línea?

 

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Sí, hay muchas preguntas. Vamos a ir a Facebook ahora. Hay una pregunta de Jacqueline Koch en Facebook, que quiere saber los factores de riesgo para las personas con enfermedades mentales y la eficacia de sus medicamentos.

 

Shani Hosten: Excelente la pregunta de Jacqueline. Dr. Evans, ¿le importaría opinar sobre eso, por favor?

 

Arthur C. Evans: Dejaré que la Dra. Villanueva intervenga en eso, ya que trata de la interacción de los medicamentos con otros medicamentos que alguien podría estar tomando.

 

Shani Hosten: Está bien. Dra. Villanueva.

 

Rachel Villanueva: Lo siento. ¿Podrías repetir esa pregunta, por favor?

 

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Claro. Jacqueline Koch quiere saber si existe algún factor de riesgo para las personas con enfermedades mentales y los medicamentos que están tomando, si eso podría distraerlos y ser efectivos.

 

Rachel Villanueva: Oh, es una excelente pregunta. Y muy importante, Jacqueline, gracias. Creo que es muy importante. Y creo que, en general, cuando hablamos de la vacuna y cualquier medicamento o enfermedad particular que uno pueda tener, es realmente crucial que discuta todos estos problemas con el médico personal que sepa qué medicamento uno está tomando y cualquier interacción potencial con la vacuna.

 

Aunque en general, no creo que existan tales interacciones, pero sería importante que uno lo comentara con su médico personal. Entonces, quien sea que recetó el medicamento, sería la mejor persona para discutir esta pregunta en particular. Y eso se aplicaría a cualquiera, ya sea una enfermedad mental o algún otro tipo de enfermedad crónica, presión arterial alta, lo que sea, si hay alguna... En general, no vemos que haya interacciones, pero siempre es bueno hacer una consulta extra con el proveedor de atención médica personal sobre cualquier pregunta que se pueda tener.

 

Shani Hosten: Excelente, Dra. Villanueva, gracias, y es muy importante que siempre nos aseguremos de consultar con nuestros profesionales de la salud. Creo que vamos a continuar, y gracias por las preguntas que todos han compartido con nosotros. Gracias, Dr. Quartey, volveremos con usted. Y también quiero agradecerles a todos, pero recuerden, si desean hacer una pregunta, presionen *3 y estaremos respondiendo preguntas adicionales muy pronto.

 

Ahora volvamos a nuestros expertos. Dra. Villanueva, los CDC publicaron recientemente una guía sobre cómo las personas vacunadas pueden reunirse de manera segura y sabemos que las familias pueden querer reunirse este fin de semana de Pascua, para aquellos que celebran la Pascua, o están planificando, ya sabes, algún viaje primaveral. ¿Qué significa esto para las personas que recibieron la vacuna y qué pasa si no la han recibido? ¿Podrías compartir un poco sobre eso?

 

Rachel Villanueva: Sí, gracias, Shani, hay dos puntos muy importantes para discutir. Es tan maravilloso para todos los que hemos sido vacunados que sentimos más libertad, nos sentimos un poco más seguros y un poco más libres ahora que nos hemos vacunado, pero lo primero de lo que hablé al comienzo de nuestro programa era que todavía estamos en medio de una crisis. Y aunque la vacuna nos permite estar un poco más seguros, mientras intentamos volver a una vida más normal, debemos ser muy cuidadosos con todas nuestras actividades.

 

Entonces, los CDC, o los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades, publicaron pautas muy específicas, en realidad, quiero decir, animo a las personas que tienen acceso a internet a que visiten el sitio cdc.gov, que ofrece descripciones muy completas de lo que es seguro para personas que han sido completamente vacunadas, reunirse con otras personas completamente vacunadas, personas vacunadas rodeadas de personas no vacunadas, riesgos, ya sea si necesitan o no usar mascarilla. Y creo que realmente da muchos detalles sobre lo que es seguro.

 

Creo que también debemos tener en cuenta que todos tenemos un factor de riesgo que puede no estar descrito en esas recomendaciones. Por lo tanto, siempre se debe considerar el factor de riesgo personal de uno. Si es una persona mayor, si tiene un problema médico subyacente, siempre debe tener más cuidado de lo que tal vez nos digan las pautas, quiero decir, esas son una especie de pautas generales. Y creo que también en general tenemos que seguir usando máscaras y manteniendo distancia social y evitar multitudes y grandes reuniones.

 

Aunque podríamos reunirnos en grupos más pequeños, especialmente con personas que han sido vacunadas, todos hemos sido vacunados, todavía no recomiendan viajar, todavía no recomiendan reuniones más grandes. Entonces, en general, creo que todos debemos seguir siendo muy cuidadosos, aunque la vacunación nos permite poder tener algunas de esas reuniones más pequeñas con nuestras familias que nos hemos perdido durante el año pasado.

 

Shani Hosten: Definitivamente tenemos que hacerlo y seguir estando seguros y vigilantes. Y gracias por describir esas pautas de los CDC, Dra. Villanueva. Sr. Anthony, me gustaría volver a usted. ¿Qué están haciendo los Gobiernos locales y las organizaciones comunitarias para abordar las dudas y preocupaciones sobre la vacuna en la comunidad?

 

Clarence Anthony: Sí, gracias por esa pregunta. Creo que, en primer lugar, se lo están tomando muy en serio porque, como sabemos, el Gobierno de la ciudad, el Gobierno local es el nivel de gobierno con el que la gente interactúa a diario, ya sea en el supermercado, oficina de correos, o donde sea, y creo que a nuestra nación, así como a nuestras comunidades, les tomó tiempo reconocer que cada comunidad es diferente, y que hay personas que estaban haciendo el Estudio Tuskegee que vacunó a las mujeres negras, específicamente hace 40 años con esta vacuna contra la sífilis.

 

Por lo tanto, eso sigue siendo lo más importante en la mente de algunas personas al vacilar ante esta vacuna, pero lo que pensamos y lo que estamos promoviendo es que los Gobiernos locales deben presionar por la equidad en lo que se refiere a lograr que las personas tomen esta vacuna porque es una cuestión de vida o muerte. Entonces, ya saben, una cosa que estamos haciendo, nuevamente, es tratar de asegurarnos de que tengamos socios que puedan ayudarnos a obtener la vacuna para nuestra población de ancianos.

 

También estamos trabajando para generar más confianza al trabajar con la comunidad de nuestra iglesia para publicitar y organizar campañas para generar confianza nuevamente. Y creo que una de las cosas más importantes es que nuestros líderes están rastreando los datos, se están asegurando de que hablemos sobre la vacilación, que hablamos sobre las formas de sacar esta información que realmente conocemos de las comunidades, los vecindarios que no están tomando el virus en serio, para que podamos ir de puerta en puerta, de iglesia en iglesia, así como en otras instalaciones para poder tener acceso a los residentes que tienen dudas.

 

Entonces, el objetivo es eliminar todas las barreras. Y decir, es una farmacia el lugar correcto, es el centro comunitario el lugar correcto. ¿Podemos de hecho, ir y asegurarnos de que consorcios de fraternidades y hermandades trabajen juntas? Por lo tanto, ahora mismo se trata de eliminar las barreras, obtener sus datos y generar confianza en la comunidad porque la vacilación es real. Y reconoceré que la vacilación se basa en la forma en que se ha tratado a las personas negras en el sistema de salud.

 

Pero voy a decir esto. Este virus está desolado. Y entiendo la vacilación, pero mi camino para sentirme cómodo con esto es similar al del Dr. Evans. He visto morir a miembros de mi familia. He visto líderes comunitarios. He visto morir a personas sanas de 40, 30 años morir a causa de esto. Quiero que todos vivan y vivan una vida de calidad. Entonces, por favor, obtengan la información, sigan la ciencia y aprovechen esta oportunidad que se les brinda con esta vacuna.

 

Shani Hosten: Gracias. Muchas gracias, Sr. Anthony. Y yo también, veo que nuestra iglesia en mis comunidades definitivamente está tomando un papel activo. Y es importante obtener información confiable. Y hablando de información confiable, quiero pasar al Dr. Evans porque ha habido mucha información errónea sobre las vacunas, y ¿cómo puede alguien identificar o combatir esa información errónea que está siendo compartida por familiares o amigos o en las redes sociales?

 

Arthur C. Evans: Bueno, es un punto muy, muy importante. Y sabemos que no es solo desinformación lo que existe. A veces, de hecho está dirigido a nuestra comunidad. Y, ya sabes, solo tenemos que ser conscientes de eso, pero tenemos que usar fuentes confiables, un recurso muy confiable es AARP. Es por eso que hay miles de personas que están en estas llamadas. Así que estoy seguro de que continuará siendo un medio de comunicación en el que algunos, ya saben, tenemos un representante de la National Medical Association, otra fuente muy confiable, particularmente para nuestra comunidad.

 

Confío particularmente ahora en muchas de las fuentes que están dentro de nuestra estructura gubernamental y en los Institutos Nacionales de la Salud y los CDC. John Hopkins tiene un sitio web realmente genial que han tenido desde el comienzo de la pandemia. Entonces, son fuentes confiables, me gustaría agradecer que la American Psychological Association sea una fuente confiable cuando se trata de algunos de los aspectos de salud mental.

 

Pero creo que es importante hacer eso, es importante hablar con los amigos, tengo un amigo, un colega cuya madre dudaba mucho en vacunarse, a pesar de que tiene un riesgo muy alto. Y fue su amiga, la amiga de su madre, quien la convenció, no solo la convenció, si no que la acompañó a vacunarse. Entonces creo que existen estos recursos confiables. Creo que es importante compartir nuestras experiencias, yo mismo he sido completamente vacunado, estoy bien, de hecho, estoy menos estresado, francamente porque ya me he puesto la vacuna.

 

No es que esté bajando la guardia, pero eso es una cosa menos por la que tengo que preocuparme. Así que creo que las personas que comparten sus propias experiencias, creo que lo que el Sr. Anthony acaba de decir es realmente importante, todo el tema de las fuentes confiables, ya sabes, muchas de nuestras congregaciones, iglesias, realmente están dando un paso al frente porque entienden que esto está teniendo un impacto directo en sus congregaciones.

 

Y creo que una de las cosas que agregaría, que los profesionales afroamericanos realmente han estado presentes, pero creo que tenemos que seguir siendo más visibles porque cuando escuchas a personas de tu comunidad que han pasado por y han recibido la capacitación, están mirando la investigación, están en la práctica clínica, eso también ayuda mucho. Así que simplemente animaría a todos nuestros colegas que pueden no haber sido tan públicos sobre lo que saben y cuál es su nivel de comodidad, creo que es importante que ellos también den un paso al frente.

 

Shani Hosten: Por supuesto. Y gracias, Dr. Evans, y esto también nos recuerda que a medida que continúa el lanzamiento de la vacuna contra el coronavirus, los estafadores están buscando formas de aprovecharse con la vacuna COVID-19 en pleno apogeo. Desafortunadamente, los estafadores continuarán tratando de encontrar formas de aprovecharse, hemos visto que las agencias federales y estatales advierten sobre la avalancha de estafas de vacunas con sitios web falsos y campañas de correo electrónico que prometen un acceso fácil y temprano a las vacunas contra el coronavirus.

 

También hemos visto a las autoridades anticipar que se está produciendo una nueva ola de estafas con la aprobación de la nueva ronda de pagos de estímulo, la mejora en los beneficios por desempleo y los préstamos para pequeñas empresas que hay ahora. Sabemos que los estafadores llamarán y enviarán correos electrónicos e incluso mensajes de texto. Y colocarán anuncios falsos para convencer a las personas de que pueden saltar al frente de la lista de vacunación, al pagar una tarifa o al proporcionar su número de Seguro Social u otra información personal confidencial. Y, no puedes pagar para saltarte en la lista y las vacunas contra la COVID-19 deberían ser gratuitas, incluso para las personas sin seguro. Y quiero repetir que las vacunas contra la COVID-19 deberían ser gratuitas, incluso para personas sin seguro.

 

Por lo tanto, uno siempre debe recurrir a fuentes confiables como su médico o su profesional de la salud o los departamentos de salud locales para obtener orientación e información sobre la distribución de la vacuna. Y visiten aarp.org/fraude para obtener más información sobre estas y otras estafas o llamen a la línea de ayuda de la Red contra el Fraude al 877-908-3360. Nuevamente, 877-908-3360 es nuestra línea directa de la Red contra el Fraude. Así que ahora es el momento de abordar más preguntas con la Dra. Villanueva, el Sr. Clarence Anthony y el Dr. Arthur Evans. Presionen * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de su teléfono para conectarse con el personal de AARP. Y Dr. Quartey, ¿a quién tenemos en línea para nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Hola, Shani, vamos a ir a Carla en Pensilvania con su pregunta. Carla, estás en el aire.

 

Carla: Sí. Buenas tardes. Mi pregunta es que mi compañera de trabajo y yo recibimos nuestra primera vacuna el domingo pasado. En su lugar de trabajo, realizan pruebas de COVID-19 de forma regular. Hicieron la prueba ayer y dieron positivo con el virus, pero mi pregunta es, ¿no sería eso normal si recién se les administrara la vacuna? ¿No es lógico que den positivo?

 

Shani Hosten: Gracias.

 

Carla: Porque algunas de las vacunas contenían parte del virus. Por tanto, no significa necesariamente que tengan el virus.

 

Shani Hosten: Gracias, Carla, por esa pregunta. Voy a pasar a la Dra. Villanueva para ampliar y responder eso.

 

Rachel Villanueva: Gracias. Esa es una pregunta muy importante, Carla. Y creo que muchas, muchas personas probablemente tengan la misma pregunta. Porque es muy importante tener en cuenta que no hay virus en la vacuna, ¿sí? Entonces, hay vacunas de ARNm, las que son de dos dosis, en realidad no llevan ningún virus dentro de la vacuna. Entonces, lo que la vacuna es realmente, es información.

 

Es casi como la receta que le permite al cuerpo saber cómo desarrollar las proteínas o los anticuerpos que combatirán el virus de la COVID-19, pero no contiene ningún virus de COVID-19. Así que realmente destaca una cosa de la que hemos estado hablando tanto cuando hemos estado hablando sobre el virus y es que las personas pueden estar asintomáticas, es decir que no tienen ningún síntoma de COVID-19 pero han estado expuestos, y podrían pasárselo a otra persona.

 

Y sabemos que ese ha sido un gran porcentaje de la forma en que las personas se han infectado y la facilidad con que se propaga por todo el país, porque las personas como tu compañera de trabajo no creen tener nada, se sienten bien, pero han estado expuestas y luego portan el virus y ahora se lo pueden contagiar a otra persona. Entonces, la prueba de PCR positiva no estaba relacionada con la vacuna, en realidad, realmente era una portadora asintomática. Y esos son los portadores más peligrosos en realidad porque piensan, se ven y actúan normal, pero en realidad pueden transmitir el virus a otras personas, por lo que vacunarnos es realmente importante para todos nosotros.

 

Shani Hosten: Genial, gracias. Muchas gracias. Dr. Quartey, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Nuestra próxima llamada es Glenda de Florida. ¿Glenda?

 

Shani Hosten: Hola, Glenda.

 

Glenda: Sí, habla Glenda.

 

Shani Hosten: Estás en vivo. Gracias.

 

Glenda: Gracias. Primero, solo quiero agradecer a AARP por tener la voluntad de tener esta discusión con nuestra comunidad, quienes tenemos algunos desafíos únicos como personas negras. Así que gracias, gracias, gracias.

 

Shani Hosten: Gracias.

 

Glenda: Bien, leí que la duración de la inmunidad para la vacuna Pfizer y Moderna es de aproximadamente seis meses. Quiero saber exactamente qué significa esto. ¿Y esto significa que tendré que recibir una vacuna de refuerzo o ser revacunada después de seis meses?

 

Shani Hosten: Buena pregunta. La voy a pasar a la Dra. Villanueva.

 

Rachel Villanueva: No quiero monopolizar la llamada, pero de acuerdo. Glenda, estás al día con la información más reciente. Y con la COVID-19 la información llega y cambia semanalmente, y a veces incluso a diario porque esta información acaba de salir ayer. Debemos tener en cuenta que nuestra información sobre la vacuna y nuestra inmunidad a la vacuna está en curso, los ensayos todavía están en curso.

 

Obtenemos información en tiempo real. Entonces, antes de que saliera esta información ayer, pensamos que la inmunidad era de tres meses porque eso es todo lo que teníamos en realidad, ese es el único período de tiempo que teníamos en realidad, el tiempo que habíamos estudiado hasta ahora. Ahora hemos estudiado durante seis meses. Entonces sabemos que las vacunas siguen teniendo una efectividad del 90% después de seis meses.

 

Eso no significa que no sea efectivo por más tiempo. Simplemente significa que aún no tenemos esa información. Así que, puede que dure más, todavía no tenemos esa información. Solo han pasado unos meses. Entonces sabemos que son seis meses, lo cual es genial. Y esperamos que sea más, pero, al igual que la vacuna contra la gripe, a veces hay una vacuna anual, ya sabes, tiene que haber una vacuna anual porque el virus muta y cambia. Y creo que tenemos que hacer exactamente lo que Glenda ha estado haciendo y estar al día con la información más reciente de lo que está sucediendo. Y tendremos que ver qué sucede, pero creo que, todo está sucediendo realmente en tiempo real. Así que tenemos que ser pacientes y estar al día con la información.

 

Shani Hosten: Y Dra. Villanueva, gracias. Y gracias, Glenda, por tu pregunta. Y es por eso que AARP continúa recibiendo estas llamadas, porque sabemos que la información está cambiando o evolucionando. Por lo tanto, animo a Glenda a estar atenta a las teleasambleas informativas adicionales de AARP. Quiero pasar al Dr. Quartey, creo que tenemos tiempo para quizás una pregunta más de los oyentes.

 

Nii-Quartelai Quartey: Sí, sí. No tenemos escasez de preguntas aquí. Vamos a ir a Barbara de Carolina del Norte con su pregunta. Barbara, estás en vivo.

 

Shani Hosten: Hola, Barbara. Continúa con tu pregunta. Barbara, ¿estás ahí?

 

Barbara: Sí. Hola.

 

Shani Hosten: Hola, Barbara. Continúa con tu pregunta, ya estás en vivo. Gracias.

 

Barbara: Oh, lo siento. Pensé que ya había dado mi pregunta. Pero mi pregunta era... Mi preocupación era que muchos afroamericanos ya tenían una estadística de haber pasado por el virus. Entonces me preguntaba, ¿es simplemente porque, nuestra raza tiene más problemas que propician el virus o, es algún tipo de gen o algo que está causando que nuestra raza sea más vulnerable al virus? Esa es básicamente mi pregunta. Y creo que he escuchado algunas respuestas, de que tal vez está más condicionado por nuestra carrera, pero ¿ese es el problema subyacente o es algo que estamos haciendo o hemos hecho, en lo que respecta a nuestra salud?

 

Shani Hosten: Bueno, muchas gracias por esa pregunta. Y el Sr. Anthony lo mencionó un poco. Pero, Sr. Anthony, sería de gran ayuda si quisiera ampliar.

 

Clarence Anthony: Sí, muchas gracias, Barbara, por esa pregunta. Creo que es histórico y también sistémico. Y se remonta a algunos de los problemas de salud que nuestra comunidad ha tenido históricamente ya sabes, diabetes, presión arterial alta. Y algo de eso se debe a la forma en que Estados Unidos nos ha incluido o excluido. Sabes, si pensamos en el asma, por ejemplo, encontramos que muchas de nuestras comunidades están cerca de las vías del tren e incineradoras en comunidades urbanas y la calidad del agua a veces en comunidades rurales.

 

Puedes hablar sobre la falta de atención médica y de acceso. Y entonces cuando nuestro cuerpo, y yo no soy médico, por eso tenemos a la Dra. Villanueva; cuando nuestro cuerpo contrae este tipo de virus, no tenemos el sistema para combatirlo. Entonces, lo que queremos hacer es asegurarnos de que a través de todo lo que hemos aprendido, queremos abordar algunos de esos sistemas sistémicos e institucionales de racismo que han existido.

 

Así que me comprometo a trabajar con los líderes locales para poder utilizar estos fondos de ayuda para el coronavirus, así como los fondos de rescate estadounidenses para poder abordar estas cosas. Y les digo que AARP es un buen recurso. Y les digo a todos mis miembros que debemos asociarnos con AARP a nivel regional, así como a nivel nacional, porque debemos abordar esto al igual que la National Medical Association, que brinda excelentes datos e información aquí hoy.

 

Shani Hosten: Muchas gracias, Sr. Anthony. Y agradecemos la colaboración y las asociaciones. Y sabemos que no podemos hacerlo solos en AARP. Por eso apreciamos la asociación con tan buenos comentarios y excelentes preguntas. Antes de cerrar, quiero darles la oportunidad de que todos ustedes opinen sobre pensamientos o recomendaciones finales que nuestros oyentes deberían entender más a partir de nuestra conversación de hoy. Hemos cubierto mucho, pero hay comentarios finales que todos ustedes podrían compartir con nuestros oyentes al cerrar hoy. Y comencemos con el Dr. Evans.

 

Arthur C. Evans: Claro, gracias. Bueno, nuevamente, gracias por invitarme a ser parte de esto. Creo que nuestro mensaje de la American Psychological Association es comprender realmente que esta pandemia está afectando tanto nuestra salud mental como nuestra salud física. Y los datos son muy claros sobre el impacto que está teniendo en la salud mental de los afroamericanos y realmente alientan a las personas a prestar atención a eso, pero a tomar medidas para abordar su salud mental. Incluso cuando salimos de la pandemia, sabemos que los aspectos de salud mental de esto nos acompañarán durante bastante tiempo.

 

Y luego, finalmente, hacer lo que realmente nos ayudará a nosotros y a nuestras familias a estar a salvo. Y está claro que vacunarse realmente puede marcar una gran diferencia. Por eso, animo a la gente a que no solo piensen en uno mismo, si no también en quién más de su vida, de su círculo, necesita obtener esa información y puede necesitar un poco de aliento o apoyo para dar esos pasos.

 

Shani Hosten: Gracias. Muchas gracias, Dr. Evans, por esos comentarios. Y quiero pasar ahora al Sr. Anthony, ¿algún comentario final de hoy para nuestros oyentes?

 

Clarence Anthony: Sí, lo único que agregaría es escuchen a los expertos. Escuchen al Dr. Evans porque tiene razón, Shani, en que esto ha impactado nuestra salud mental y física, y escuchen a la Dra. Villanueva porque la doctora tiene razón en lo que respecta a asegurarse de que obtengamos la información correcta y nos acomodemos. Y finalmente, les diré, pasé por el mismo proceso por el que muchos de ustedes pueden estar pasando ahora y dudando hace nueve meses. Pero a medida que aprendí sobre la ciencia asociada con esto y los problemas de salud sobre los cuales necesitaba educarme, fue lo correcto para mí. Y espero que todos los que estén indecisos sigan su proceso, pero, por favor, busquen los datos correctos, obtengan la información correcta.

 

Shani Hosten: Excelente. Gracias, Sr. Anthony. Y hablando de información y datos también, quiero pasarle la palabra a la Dra. Villanueva para que dé algún consejo final.

 

Rachel Villanueva: Muchas gracias, Shani. Y gracias nuevamente a AARP por facilitar la conversación de hoy y por continuar facilitando conversaciones que mejorarán nuestra comunidad. Y creo que no hay duda de que nuestra comunidad se ha visto sobrecargada con la COVID-19 y el impacto que ha tenido en nosotros, mental y físicamente, en nuestras comunidades. Y creo que, aunque muchos dirán que nuestra comunidad está indecisa, creo que incluso la investigación ha demostrado recientemente dónde está el grupo de personas que realmente están haciendo muchas preguntas y quiénes eran el grupo de personas más persuasibles, lo que significa que una vez que se responden nuestras preguntas, una vez que escuchamos a los expertos y obtenemos la información, tomaremos la decisión de vacunarnos y creo que es muy importante que tengamos en cuenta que está bien hacer preguntas.

 

Estos son tiempos realmente aterradores y sin precedentes, lo decimos una y otra vez, pero es algo muy importante. Todos somos muy, ya sabes, todo esto es nuevo para todos nosotros. Entonces está bien tener preguntas. Está bien hacer preguntas y querer tener más información. Y con suerte, una vez que obtengas esa información, decidirás que la vacuna, que finalmente recibirás la vacuna. Y creo que es muy importante tener en cuenta que esta es la forma en que vamos a detener la marea de muertes en nuestra comunidad.

 

Y es nuestra comunidad la que está muriendo, hospitalizada y sobrecargada, y debemos tener eso en cuenta. De nuevo, agradezco mucho a AARP porque creo que hay muchas personas que necesitan escuchar esta información. Y tantas veces como me inviten a regresar, definitivamente regresaré porque creo que la conversación es importante para que mantengamos a nuestra comunidad a salvo, mantengamos a nuestros seres queridos a salvo y tratemos de volver a una situación de vida más normal de nuevo.

 

Shani Hosten: Muchas gracias, Dra. Villanueva. Agradecemos esos comentarios y que se haya tomado el tiempo. Y gracias a cada uno de ustedes, Dra. Villanueva, Sr. Clarence Anthony y Dr. Arthur Evans, por tomarse su tiempo hoy para compartir información, responder preguntas y brindar información confiable específicamente en lo que se refiere a la comunidad negra. Y hoy se ha dicho que nuestra recuperación será más lenta, lo sabemos, pero si tenemos información confiable, podemos tomar decisiones informadas.

 

Y gracias a nuestros socios de AARP, nuestros voluntarios y oyentes por participar en esta discusión de hoy. AARP, una organización sin fines de lucro y no partidista con membresía, ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores durante más de 60 años. Y frente a esta crisis, estamos brindando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan a protegerse del virus y prevenir el contagio a otras personas mientras se cuidan. Y todos los recursos a los que se hizo referencia, incluida una grabación del evento de preguntas y respuestas de hoy, se podrán encontrar en aarp.org/elcoronavirus el 2 de abril. Una vez más, la dirección web es aarp.org/elcoronavirus. Así que ve allí si tus preguntas no fueron atendidas hoy.

 

Dr. Quartey, no puedo agradecerle lo suficiente por ayudar a facilitar esas conversaciones y preguntas. Sabemos que hay más, pero encontrarán las últimas actualizaciones, así como información creada específicamente para personas mayores y adultos y cuidadores familiares en aarp.org/elcoronavirus. Esperamos que hayan aprendido algo hoy y puedan aprovecharlo para ayudarlos a ustedes y a sus seres queridos a mantenerse saludables.

 

Y por favor sintonicen el 8 de abril para ver dos eventos en vivo más en los que discutiremos las vacunas contra la COVID-19 a la 1 p.m., hora del este, el 8 de abril, nos centraremos en la distribución de la vacuna contra la COVID-19 y el cuidado de los miembros de la familia. Y a las 7 p.m. del 8 de abril, hora del este, hablaremos sobre el coronavirus en los latinos. Gracias y que tengan un buen día. Con esto concluye nuestra llamada.

Coronavirus and The Black Community: Your Vaccine Questions Answered

Listen to a replay of the live event above.

This live Q&A event addressed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Black community. It provided information on the vaccine and how it’s being distributed to older adults, people of color and those with underlying medical conditions.

The experts:

  • Rachel Villanueva, M.D.
    President-Elect,
    National Medical Association

  • Clarence Anthony
    Chief Executive Officer,
    National League of Cities

  • Arthur C. Evans, Jr., Ph.D.
    Chief Executive Officer,
    American Psychological Association

  • Nii-Quartelai Quartey, Ed.D.
    COVID Vaccine Education,
    Multicultural Engagement Lead, AARP

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, go to AARP.org/coronavirus.


Replay previous AARP Coronavirus Tele-Town Halls

  • October 7Coronavirus: Boosters, Flu Vaccines and Wellness Visits
  • September 23 - Coronavirus: Delta Variant, Boosters & Self Care
  • September 9 - Coronavirus: Staying Safe, Caring for Loved Ones & New Work Realities
  • August 26 - Coronavirus: Staying Safe, New Work Realities & Managing Finances
  • August 12 - Coronavirus: Staying Safe in Changing Times
  • June 24 - The State of LGBTQ Equality in the COVID Era
  • June 17 - Coronavirus: Vaccines And Staying Safe During “Reopening”
  • June 3 - Coronavirus: Your Health, Finances & Housing
  • May 20 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Variants and Coping
  • May 6 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Variants and Coping
  • April 22 - Your Vaccine Questions Answered and Coronavirus: Vaccines and Asian American and Pacific Islanders
  • April 8 - Coronavirus and Latinos: Safety, Protection and Prevention and Vaccines and Caring for Grandkids and Loved Ones
  • April 1Coronavirus and The Black Community: Your Vaccine Questions Answered
  • March 25Coronavirus: The Stimulus, Taxes and Vaccine
  • March 11 - One Year of the Pandemic and Managing Personal Finances and Taxes
  • February 25Coronavirus Vaccines and You
  • February 11 - Coronavirus Vaccines: Your Questions Answered
  • January 28 - Coronavirus: Vaccine Distribution and Protecting Yourself
    & A Virtual World Awaits: Finding Fun, Community and Connections
  • January 14 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Staying Safe & Coping and Prevention, Vaccines & the Black Community
  • January 7 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Stimulus & Staying Safe
  • Dec 3 - Coronavirus: Staying Safe & Coping This Winter
  • Nov 19 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Staying and A Caregiver's Thanksgiving
  • Nov 12 - Coronavirus: Coping and Maintaining Your Well-Being
  • Oct 1 - Coronavirus: Vaccines & Coping During the Pandemic
  • Sept 17 - Coronavirus: Prevention, Treatments, Vaccines & Avoiding Scams
  • Sept 3 - Coronavirus: Your Finances, Health & Family (6 months in)
  • Aug 20 - Your Health and Staying Protected
  • Aug 6 - Coronavirus: Answering Your Most Frequent Questions
  • July 23 - Coronavirus: Navigating the New Normal
  • July 16 - The Health and Financial Security of Latinos
  • July 9 - Coronavirus: Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
  • June 18 and 20 - Strengthening Relationships Over Time and  LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Protections
  • June 11 – Coronavirus: Personal Resilience in the New Normal
  • January 7 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Stimulus & Staying Safe
  • January 14 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Staying Safe & Coping and Prevention, Vaccines & the Black Community
  • January 28 - Coronavirus: Vaccine Distribution and Protecting Yourself
    & A Virtual World Awaits: Finding Fun, Community and Connections
  • Dec 3 - Coronavirus: Staying Safe & Coping This Winter
  • Nov 19 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Staying and A Caregiver's Thanksgiving
  • Nov 12 - Coronavirus: Coping and Maintaining Your Well-Being
  • Oct 1 - Coronavirus: Vaccines & Coping During the Pandemic
  • Sept 17 - Coronavirus: Prevention, Treatments, Vaccines & Avoiding Scams
  • Sept 3 - Coronavirus: Your Finances, Health & Family (6 months in)
  • Aug 20 - Your Health and Staying Protected
  • Aug 6 - Coronavirus: Answering Your Most Frequent Questions
  • July 23 - Coronavirus: Navigating the New Normal
  • July 16 - The Health and Financial Security of Latinos
  • July 9 - Coronavirus: Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
  • June 18 and 20 - Strengthening Relationships Over Time and  LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Protections
  • June 11 – Coronavirus: Personal Resilience in the New Normal