Vaccines for All: Communication and Public Trust

Vaccines for All: Communication and Public Trust

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Shirley: Welcome everyone. I'm Shirley Bergen, and I will be the moderator for this important conversation on communication and public trust. As I was curating and now hosting this conversation, it reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. And I thought I would kick off discussion sharing that. It's a George [inaudible 02:05:54] "The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that has taken place."

I think no truer words we need to, not only it doesn't matter, it matters what we say. It also matters how we say it. And for the past nine years, I have had the privilege of helping to share the stories behind some of the most important advancements and discoveries in health, medicine, and science, and how these advancements are communicated and made accessible and engaging to the broadest public is critical.

It's critical to the public's understanding and their personal connection to the issues that they're addressing. Shirley: During these times of crisis, effective communication is paramount in driving public trust. I'm going to take just a minute to give a little framing for our time together, and then I'm going to jump into some introductions to these amazing panelists.

With the imminent availability of a handful of COVID-19 vaccines, political leaders are planning for worldwide distribution and all of the complicated logistics that are involved. We now face an important decision on our health, the health of our families, [inaudible 02:07:06] the health of the world, and that is whether or not to take the vaccine. Those who trust the vaccine development process will examine the efficacy of the vaccine. It's potential side effects before becoming vaccinated.

There's others though, that have been very vaccine hesitant. That thinking was before the pandemic. And now their doubts will likely have been exasperated by an unprecedented speed at which the vaccines were developed coupled with the use of new vaccine development platforms. Shirley: Vaccine has [inaudible 02:07:41] not the public has a lot of questions about the vaccine that science currently, probably has more questions than science has answers for. As we've often seen with the new public health crisis arrives in the absence of much pre-established science, the COVID 19 pandemic has brought with it, a communication crisis worldwide referred to by the leader of the World Health Organization, as an Infodemic. It's information and epidemic given the rapid and far reaching spread of information, some factual much of which is not.

Unfortunately the misinformation, inaccurate information without malicious intent that spreads and then the disinformation, purposeful or wrong information has had serious adverse health consequences already and are poised to continue to do harm as COVID-19 vaccines become available. Every day, those of us in the internet connected world are faced with a digital information that challenges our beliefs and our actions. Shirley: In this sensitive time, where accuracy of information can be the difference between life and death. We have the opportunity to reinvent how we communicate, use digital tools, grassroots ref efforts, and crowdsourced solutions to, not only to reach all communities, but to advance the trust in science and the health of humanity. But how did we do this? What have we learned about public trust and communication since the start of the pandemic and from other public health crisis before COVID-19? How can we best apply these lessons to address the massive communication challenges we have before us? How can we avoid pandemic fatigue and current preventative measures like mask wearing, social distancing, frequent testing until the vaccine brings us herd immunity and fizzling out of the virus.

I'm confident that this amazing panel of experts will help us answer some of these questions, and I'm really excited to introduce you to them, to you. Shirley: I'll start off with Melissa Fleming. Melissa is the Under-Secretary General for the Global Communications of the United Nations. Her leadership today during these unprecedented times has been front and center as she and her team worked quickly to establish a number of important public communication initiatives, tackling Mis and disinformation like a verified and the pause campaign, as well as working to support the public's understanding and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine with initiatives like #TeamHalo.

Her previous experience, leading global communication campaigns and media outreach, supporting the needs of refugees, as well as the peaceful use of nuclear technologies, we're bringing important perspective to this conversation. Thank you for being with us, Melissa. Melissa: Great to be with you Shirley, and hello, everyone.

Shirley: I'm going to introduce next, Dr. Celine Gounder. Celine has been a respected and trusted voice in helping the public understand COVID-19 since January. She served on the front lines, caring for COVID patients and her presence across top news, the media outlets, as well as her notable podcast epidemic have provided me and much of the public so much needed clarity during these uncertain times.

Most recently, she was named to Biden's COVID-19 Advisory Board. Thank you for your service over these past few months Celine, and thank you for joining us. Celine: Thank you, and good morning. Shirley: Good morning. And Lisa Sherman. Lisa is the president and CEO of the Ad council.

As most of you likely know over the past 78 years, the Ad council has been responsible for some of the most important public service campaigns of our time from loose lips, sink ships, reminding Americans of the dangers of revealing too much information to the enemy during world war two, to Smokey Bear and his message, "Only you can prevent wildfires." To their work on diversity and inclusion with love has no labels, STEM for girls, gun safety, and most recently their work around COVID-19 with notable campaigns, like Mask Up America, Alone Together and Fight the Virus Fight the Bias. Shirley: Lisa and her team are now raising $50 million to support a vaccine education campaign.

This will be one of the largest public education campaigns in history. So there's really no pressure there for you, Lisa, at all. Her experience in creating public engagement campaigns, by leveraging bleeding edge products and digital technologies will be key in tackling one of the most pressing and timely issues our country has ever faced. So welcome, Lisa.

Lisa: Thanks, Shirley. It's great to be here with everyone. Shirley: Great to have you.

We're going to jump right in and I am going to start with a question actually, what I want to make one, just one comment and that is, I'm really hoping that this is a conversation. If I've asked somebody a question and somebody else is really excited about, please feel free, take the appropriate pause and jump right in, or wave at me, but I definitely want this to be a conversation. All of your expertise is really beautiful meld that is going to be important to answer, I think most of these questions. So I'm going to start off with you, Melissa. I think as we think about the vaccine rollout, obviously vaccine hesitancy and skepticism and building confidence, especially in the face of MIS and disinformation are front and center.

I would love for you to share some of the things that you and your team at the UN are doing to respond. Melissa: Well, thanks, Shirley. As soon as the COVID-19 crisis hit, we realized that we were not just in a global public health crisis, but in a communication crisis as well. First of all, all about, and it still is public health communications just basic.

It's amazing that a year later we're still having to communicate about why people should wear masks and wash their hands and social distance. We're still there. We were in the first global pandemic as well in the social media age, which would provide amazing opportunities to reach people in an unprecedented scale and depth and you know, in all corners of the earth.

But the problem is we're in this polluted media landscape, that is you and your introduction described it. The WHO term, Infodemic means we have good information out there mixed with the bad and the bad information is unfortunately traveling faster or being elevated higher than the good information because of the way algorithms work. Melissa: Because science is more nuanced and scientists are not necessarily as slick and masters at communicating as some of the purveyors of misinformation who have no problem with speaking in black and white terms. Whereas as we know, science shifts, science changes, especially when dealing with a novel virus.

So all that to say because it's all linked and we knew this was coming. I remember months ago when Dr. Mike Ryan, who is the emergencies director of WHO said, we could reach the moon, the equivalent of reaching the moon and record time with efficacy of a vaccine, but we might reach a stage if we don't start now where we're not going to have enough people to take it. So we have a couple of challenge that we have the challenge of, the communications challenge, the polluted immediate landscape challenge. Melissa: And we have also at the UN, what we see as a huge challenge is the equitability challenge, a vaccine that is not just available for all Americans, but it's available for everyone everywhere and at the same time.

So just very briefly, and we can get into this a little bit more. We have a huge problem. We have a huge problem because as soon as the wonderful news was announced that we are at this stage, there were actually three vaccines that are somewhat unique in the UK, even being rolled out right now that are safe and effective.

But we have misinformation spiked the moment the good news was announced. Some of the same conspiracies that we were seeing bubbling and bubbling, bubbling, and misinformation and distortion, but then, new inventions as well, like it's going to alter your DNA. Melissa: We've been ready for this, and we've been developing certain tools. First of all, being guided by the knowledge that there is a data deficit and Claire Wardle of First Draft News has done a study and come out with evidence that there really is a data deficit that people are anxiously searching for information about the new vaccines.

And they're not finding it. What they are finding in their feeds is, these vaccines will alter your DNA or, that there's a conspiracy that Bill Gates is going to insert chips and be able to track your every move from here on, and if you get one of these vaccines. So we need to be out there with good information and better at getting at reaching people where information travels at the same time, we need to be better at communicating it. Melissa: I'll get into that later in our discussion.

But we have launched a practitioner's guide for communicators that is based on the best communications and behavioral science to be the most effective communicator. There's no cookie cutter solution to communicating vaccines. It really depends on who you are communicating to. What is their worldview? What is their experience? We hope will help people around the world be better communicators.

And third, we're trying to populate and I'll leave it there where popularize the scientist humanize the scientists. Melissa: We have this initiative called TeamHalo, where we have identified SA scientists around the world who are busy in their labs, working on the race to develop Corona virus, vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines. We've given them the tools to become Tik Tok guides and to allow people to come into their labs and through social media engagement, to be able to engage with them, ask them questions, a community kind of based science approach. And we have, this is gaining huge traction around the world, getting a lot of media attention too, and tons of local community engagement. Just a couple of initiatives. And thanks over to you act to you.

Shirley: No thanks. Thank you, Melissa. I think the idea of actually putting the scientists front and center and having them be accessible is brilliant. It's exactly what we need to do.

They don't live in some cave. They are everyday people like we are working on really important issues. Having them be front and center and participate with the public and answer questions and be human is a big part of storytelling and a big part of, of communication. You mentioned there briefly that, obviously another issue along with hesitancy and our- Shirley: Okay.

Another issue along with hesitancy and our need to build confidence is inequity and global inequity, as it relates to vaccine access, vaccine distribution. And I'm wondering, I'm going to kind of pass this one to Celine who has worked HIV, Ebola, a number of different global infectious diseases. Just how are we going to communicate and really kind of make it front and center of an issue that if nobody is safe until everybody's safe. Which means everybody needs to be vaccinated.

So talk to me a little bit about, could the challenges associated with inequity be more of a problem than even vaccine hesitancy as we roll out this vaccine? Celine: Well, I do think they go hand in hand. So if you look at some of the research that's been done on reasons for hesitancy, it depends on the group, but many groups are hesitant because they feel like something is not fair. So it could be that they feel like some of the restrictions right now that are being implemented.

We had seen a woman on Fox News earlier this week, a bar or a restaurant owner in California who was really upset because she was told she had to close down. But there was a film crew that had set up a tent next door to her location. And inside the tent, the setup was very similar to what it was in her restaurant. And so she didn't understand why is it I have to close down and they get to stay open. So that's one example of sort of this fairness question.

Celine: I think communities of color have experienced this obviously in spades. And so when you have people who feel like the system's not fair, they're not being treated equitably. The government is not meeting their needs. You're going to see in that setting, conspiracy theories and rumors develop.

So, I do hope that we can address some of those things. I think one example of that is a stimulus package. So right now before Congress, there's been a stimulus package sitting there waiting for Senator McConnell to take that up. Unfortunately, in this country, we've presented this as a false choice between the public health recommendations, a false choice between public health and the economy. And in other countries where you have social and economic safety nets, like in Europe, there has been much less resistance because people feel like, "Okay, the government is meeting my needs."

Celine: And so I can trust them in a way that I think Americans don't trust their government when it comes to some of these recommendations. Shirley: So trust was going to be kind of the next area I was going to transition to. And I guess part of it, I'm going to stay with you for a minute Celine, given your experiences on the frontline, especially caring for vulnerable and marginalized communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

How do we regain their trust? Especially if I think about black indigenous and Latinx communities at higher risk. How can we acknowledge the trauma of the past and began building a bridge to tackling this virus together? Celine: Well, I think it's precisely what you just said. You have to acknowledge, first of all, you can't pretend it's in the past.

I mean, some of these things are very much present for them. I'll give you an example. I was caring for a patient, an Apache patient in Arizona, so a couple of years ago now. And while I was seeing the patient, somebody else, a nurse or a clerical person came in wanting this patient to sign hospital paperwork. And he turns to them and says, "Oh, another treaty for you Americans to break." These are things that are very every day, current day for these people.

And so one, you have to acknowledge that there has been a breach of trust and why. And secondly, it's not just about having a conversation about it. There do have to be concrete measures to re-establish some trust and to say, "Okay, these are the needs.

These are the concerns you're expressing. How are we going to address those concerns?" Not just have a conversation, but truly take concrete action. Shirley: Right.

I'm going to transition over to Lisa. Lisa, maybe you could talk a little bit about Mascot America because I know they're a big part of the initiative did engage and specifically talk to black communities. And so coming off of Celine's question, transitioning to what's actually being done to engage and communicate. I would love to hear your thoughts. Lisa: Absolutely.

I think that trust is at the root of so many of the issues that we're dealing with right now, with respect to the pandemic, especially in communities of color for all of the reasons that you and Celine have just talked about and Melissa too. And so we developed some mask work, particularly in specifically targeting the black community because we felt that we wanted them to protect themselves and to protect each other. We did a lot of research, really understanding what messaging would resonate with them. We tested all kinds of different ways in and message framings. And what we learned is, and what we ultimately developed was a campaign that felt like the message was reflective of their lived experience, that they felt that we were talking about their reality.

And in addition to that type of messaging, we engaged some culturally relevant messengers. Lisa: We think the messenger here sometimes is as, or more important than the actual message itself. And so we worked with folks like Viola Davis, Simone Biles, the New York Giants' wide receiver, Victor Cruz. People that they could relate to and connect with.

And we were able to really connect at a level that I think that the message and the messenger allowed the message to break through and to be heard. And that's going to be... And we'll talk about it, I'm sure a big part of our vaccine education effort as well. Shirley: Yeah, it's absolutely a perfect transition because I was going to ask you next, I feel like $50 million and coupled with the sense of urgency, the importance of the campaign, the just rapid speed of everything this year, much of what Melissa talked about in terms of misinformation and disinformation, and what's the right way for everybody to communicate. I would love to just understand from you what's the plan.

I mean, how do you think about this COVID collaborative partnership? How will that help shape this campaign? And you have amazing panelists here who I know their contributions in supporting the work that you will be doing and vice versa equally important. So give us a sense of what's going into the future here. Lisa: Sure. So look, I think everybody agrees and it's not in any way an overstatement to say that this is the biggest issue of our lifetime. And from our perspective, it requires the most significant public education effort we've ever undertaken.

I think we're all feeling that there's some light at the end of the tunnel. And we got so hopeful when we heard about the extraordinary efforts around vaccines. But the bottom line is that if people don't choose to take the vaccine or don't feel comfortable taking it, we're not going to be any better off than we are right now and have been for the last nine months. And so when we look at the high levels of vaccine hesitancy across the board, but especially in communities of color, our number one job is really to ensure that the American public has the most accurate information possible, so that they can educate themselves on vaccines and determine if they would feel comfortable moving forward. Lisa: So our goal is to move through public education, people from feeling hesitant to feeling more vaccine confident.

And we're partnering with the COVID collaborative, which is an extraordinary bi-partisan coalition of experts across health, education and the business sector, to really get the word out. They're providing us with just an incredible group of scientific advisors who are going to vet everything that we do, and really advise us to ensure that we have a deep understanding of the demographic and psychographic segments that we want to reach and inform the creative. So that those messages really do ultimately connect. And in terms of our approach, I heard a little bit of the last panel and there was a debate about coordinated, centralized, decentralized. From our perspective, I think it's very important to have a coordinated effort with respect to communications, but I think it's also important to acknowledge that one size does not fit all.

Lisa: So we envision a multiple effort campaign with distinct campaigns that reach different target audiences, especially in communities of color that we know have been the hardest hit and where we see hesitancy levels significantly higher. We're going to have probably the biggest effort with respect to an air game and a ground game. And that means from our perspective that we will have a broad national approach and you can expect to see communications and creative assets across all the traditional forms of media that you've come to expect from ad council campaigns. Whether that's broadcast, television, radio out of home, all the digital and social platforms. But at the same time, we recognize that we have to have a significant local presence because we have to meet people where they are, and we have to be in the communities and talking to folks in their day-to-day lives. Lisa: That I think is where we begin to build additional levels of trust.

And so we'll be partnering with grassroots organizations, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations to really get at that local piece. Because I think we've always taught... We just also talked about a trust as the core of this issue and who the messengers are, are really important. For some people it's pharmacists and perhaps their doctor or their minister. So we're going to rely on trusted messengers to help us educate people so that they can make those empowered decisions for themselves and for their families.

Shirley: Perfect. Thank you, Lisa. I'm going to swinging back to Melissa for a second because it's back on public trust. And as I listened to the webinar that the UN hosted yesterday about the guiding principles and creating this practitioner's guide. Would love your thoughts on trusted sources. I mean, if we're going to truly be able to connect with the public on a global level, then we have to have those trusted voices and they may be different here in the United States than they may be around the world.

They will be different. So give us a sense from your perspective, how you're thinking about regaining the trust on a global national level. Well, you're on mute.

Melissa: Thank you. And Lisa, I think the principles that you just outlined are very much our thinking and our findings on how we will approach the world. And so we'd love to collaborate with you and to see how you are speaking to Americans with your findings. I mean, it is the same principle though. You can't make assumptions for everybody.

There's no cookie cutter approach. However, there are some things that you can do, and that is first of all, one, can't just assume that people understand what vaccination is. I think that probably most people haven't thought about vaccines and how they work in a long time. And maybe, as parents you make that decision and you inform yourself and then you probably quickly forget about it.

Melissa: So I think there's a lot of just principled, basic education that we need to do, and that some of what we're providing in terms of the content that we're putting out there. We're also trying to celebrate through our storytelling and our content, the amazing history of explanation and all the diseases is already wiped out. But also the growing threat of the vaccines that have eradicated diseases, not being because of lock downs, because of delivery issues re-emerging. And this being also a really urgent and important issue to flag.

Trust is... I completely agree with Lisa. It is at the absolute center, but how to build trust is the huge challenge. And one needs to go country by country or community by community. In countries though, where the national leadership has approached this pandemic in a responsible way has communicated using science as the guide. Melissa: We're finding less of a challenge, but what has happened in the absence of trust in the elected leaders is that there has been a resurgent trust in health officials.

If they have gone a different path and have stood their ground with integrity, but certainly their... And polling indicates that trust in scientists has been elevated by this campaign. And I really think that we absolutely need to take advantage of that and give scientists and give doctors the tools to be those influencers and communicators, because people are turning to them. And exactly what you just said also about the community influencers is incredibly important. I saw a study actually recently that there is going to be an initiative to go to barbers and educate barbers because these are trusted figures in some African-American communities.

Melissa: So whatever works, but the important thing is to identify who is influencing whom and let's get at the influencers and allow them to be our communicators for the communities that need to be reached. Shirley: And I would say that no greater influence than Celine, especially during this period of crisis and as a physician on the front line. So I would love to hear a little bit from you, Celine, in terms of what you were seeing from patients, from the people that listen to you, to the public at large. What do we have to do to rebuild public trust? And what role will the physicians play in doing that? Their physicians. Celine: Yeah, so I think...

Am I muted? Shirley: No. Celine: I agree with Melissa. I was in fact reviewing some of this data with some research consortium that includes Harvard, Northeastern, Northwestern, and NYU, I believe yesterday, where they've been doing waves of polling across the American public to see what kinds of messengers would be trusted. What kinds of messages would be trusted and doctors and scientists are really at the top of the list in terms of who people trust right now. We know that politicians are not the most effective messengers here.

Just by being politicians politicize the message. And so it's really problematic when you have the information being doled out, being broadcast by politicians, whether that's the president or Governor Cuomo. It really doesn't matter which political party you're talking about. The problem is anybody who's not of their political party will reject that information. Celine: And anybody who is of that political party will double down on whatever that information is, even if it's not accurate. So, that is a strategy that you're going to see moving forward.

You're going to see government scientists, CDC scientists, really at the forefront of communication. But I think also healthcare workers in general really do need to be involved here. And one statistic that we've seen recently that is concerning is about a third or so of healthcare workers are themselves hesitant about the vaccine. And I think that's related from what I'm hearing and seeing to the speed with which the vaccine was developed and now manufactured and also concerns about politicization of the entire process. Now, I think there hesitancy it can be overcome. Celine: It's not as entrenched as other forms of hesitancy, but I do think it's really important to address because they are going to be the ones in turn on the front lines of educating others.

So that is a task that we need to address now. Shirley: So I think we've talked a lot about messaging, building public trust, finding and reaching everyone, connecting and engaging with everyone. Let's talk a little bit about the tools to make all of that happen. And Lisa, I'm going to go to you for a second and then swing back to Celine and then Melissa. When we think about the tools, like it's a new world. This is not the days of loose lips sink ships, right? We have so many communication tools at our fingertips.

How will you use digital tools and some of what I would consider the more crowdsourced platforms to get the message out and to really engage, I think, instead of speaking to, speaking with. Lisa: Sure, Just before I jump in, I want to just validate what Celine just said. We are actually working right now with the AMA to develop some doctor to doctor video content that we'll release in the next week or two to coincide with healthcare providers being in phase 1A of receiving the vaccine to that very point. If we can get more confidence there, they will ultimately be able to instill confidence going forward in future phases. So couldn't agree more but Shirley to your question about digital tools and technology, there's never been a better time to have to do this work, given all the tools we have available.

Everything from us leveraging IBM Watson's AI technology to better understand which messages perform best in market against different scenarios and against different audiences is hugely helpful to us. And then of course, the way we're approaching this, we really, in order to have the speed and the scale and the scope that's necessary, we're approaching this in a very open source way. Lisa: So we're going to be creating significant assets. They could be actual finished creative products, an ad, a video 30 second, or a 60 second ad or a radio spot.

Or it could be a creative brief. It could be a script. And we're going to be putting all of those assets into digital playbooks and toolkits and make them available to whomever wants to take them.

So if you're a significant media platform and you want to pull down some scripts to have your own talent, read those scripts, and then you broadcast those across your platforms. You know your audiences better than we do. You know what resonates better than we do. And so we're giving people all the tools, we hope that they need to ensure that the message is relevant and it's delivered with the authenticity that's necessary to really connect and ensure as well that it gets to the right people, at the right place and at the right time.

Shirley: Wonderful. Thank you, Lisa. And Melissa, if you'll talk just a little bit about the impact of social media and all that you guys have been doing and any other tools, technology you're using. Melissa: Yeah.

Just following on just what Lisa said, similarly we're creating a kind of content factory for the world that is available to our whole range of UN partners and NGO partners to take, we use the Trello boards. So it's very easy to access. It's easy to then adapt to local languages and to circulate locally and also working really key with media partners from around the world. It's one thing for UN headquarters to broadcast. We do have millions of followers on our platforms, but it's still not enough.

It doesn't circulate the way people receive their information these days, which is peer to peer via WhatsApp groups or in Facebook groups. So we really need to penetrate through media partners, good content, but then people who will help us deliver. Melissa: So another initiative that we have is to recruit what we're calling information volunteers around the world. And so far, we've signed up 110000 and counting, and these we're calling them our digital first responders. These are ordinary people.

I think, Shirley you are yourself and information volunteer. Shirley: I am. Melissa: So thank you.

And so basically you're led to our content pool, which is on and you get a daily email. And in that daily email, we're teaching about misinformation. So providing this kind of misinformation literacy so that you can help us be that kind of community first responder, but also we're sharing good content that we're asking to further share.

And this same content is going to local media partners who can deliver it at scale, either through broadcast airwaves, through memes on social media. We have, for example, a huge media partner in Africa called Multichoice Africa that is delivering messages from us to their subscribers via SMS or public service announcements. Melissa: So we're using radio. It really depends on where people are getting their information, but all based on kind of similar messaging.

So this is really important. I just like to acknowledge that we're working with the social mobilization company called Purpose. And they're our partner in this Verified initiative that is really helping us to go out at scale and deep and wide in this social media ecosystem that is very complex and difficult to navigate. Shirley: Meeting people where they are, and that's where we need to be. So thank you, Melissa. And Celine, instead of asking you that question, I'm going to end with you on a question that I was going to ask everybody, but looking at the time I'm getting the boots soon.

I knew this was going to go by way too quickly and we can't give up, we can't stop the public health preventative measures that we are finally really holding on to. That just because the vaccine is rolling out. And I think a fear of a lot of people is the vaccine will start rolling out and everybody will say, "Well, if so-and-so got the vaccine and I'm probably, okay too." You know that herd immunity. And so what do we do to really incur...

This is for the long run. Shirley: We've got work to do, so while the vaccine is rolling out, what should we be doing to continue to reinforce the important public health preventative measures that have been put in place over the last month? Celine: Yeah. And this is going to be a challenging one from a communications perspective for a few different reasons. So first of all, it is going to take time to vaccinate everyone. The first phase in the United States is going to be healthcare workers and the residents of staff and staff of long-term care facilities.

So nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and the like. After that, we're looking at critical infrastructure workers. And there's still a lot of lack of clarity about who those people actually will be.

And then you're looking at people over 65 and those with chronic medical conditions. We probably won't be vaccinating the general public outside of those groups until April or May. And so it's going to take months to vaccinate enough people. We're estimating "herd immunity" you would need to reach 70% population coverage with the vaccine. Celine: And so that's going to take a while. I think at least well into the summer, if not into the fall, assuming people agree to take the vaccine so that that's going to be a major challenge there.

Another issue though, is that the vaccines have been studied in terms of whether they protect from disease. They have not been studied in terms of whether they prevent transmission. We think they will. We hope they will, but that means that just because you have been vaccinated does not mean you could still not be a conduit for the virus to somebody else.

So I'm going to be one of those 1A people vaccinated probably in the next week or two, but I'll still be wearing a mask because I can still potentially transmit the infection to others. Shirley: Right. That's a great point and a great reinforcing point to continue the preventative measures long into the vaccine rollout. So I just want to thank each of you so much for being here today and sharing your wisdom and all of your amazing experience and insights.

We had this conversation so that we can do it again in person safely in a year or two. So thank you guys so much.

2021-01-04 00:07

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