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Journalists Can Help Texans Overcome Vaccine Reticence

Texas broke its record last Friday for the number of COVID-19 vaccinations reported in a single day – 360,000. The milestone comes after the Texas Department of State Health Services opened COVID-19 vaccinations on March 29 to all Texans 16 and older – about 22 million people.

Health experts agree that mass vaccination is key to ending the ongoing pandemic which so far has claimed nearly 48,000 Texans.

As of Tuesday, more than 12 million doses of vaccine had been administered in Texas, with nearly five million of the state’s 30 million residents now fully vaccinated.

While that’s remarkable progress since the first vaccine was available for use in Texas, there remains a vaccination reluctance in some in-state adults.

Local Journalists Can Make A Critical Difference
The Poynter Institute has archived its online March 31 “On Poynt” presentation, Vaccine Hesitancy: What Journalists Need to Know.

The session explores why approximately 40 percent of U.S. citizens are not planning to be vaccinated and what role, if any, journalists can play in convincing the vaccination reluctant to get inoculated.

Led by Poynter’s Joie Chen, the presentation features Dr. Jennifer Kates of the Kaiser Family Foundation and KTRK-TV Houston anchor Chauncy Glover who detailed his own COVID-19 experience.

The session reviews:

  • Who is getting vaccinated and why, going beyond partisan and racial lines
  • How one local journalist listens, responds, and helps his community understand the facts about getting vaccinated
  • What strategies journalists might use to impact vaccine hesitancy in their communities

The presentation can be viewed at the link above.

While presented online for free, a donation to Poynter is most welcome.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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