BWF and IAVA Host Panel to Discuss Current State of COVID-19, Address Vaccine Hesitancy - Bob Woodruff Foundation

BWF and IAVA Host Panel to Discuss Current State of COVID-19, Address Vaccine Hesitancy

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We know that the widespread distribution of vaccines is the best and perhaps only to move on from the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) held a Facebook Live event to analyze the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefits of mRNA treatments, vaccine hesitancy, and the resources available to get veterans and their families inoculated.

Jeremy Butler, CEO of IAVA, moderated the event and fielded questions from viewers for Dr. Kavita Patel, physician and former Obama administration, and our BWF founder, Bob Woodruff.

The event is the newest effort from BWF to promote COVID-19 safety and awareness. In April 2020 we were one of the first organizations to publish a research paper analyzing the specific impact COVID-19 would have on the veteran population. We’ve provided funding to veterans organizations across the country to address COVID-19. We posted a story on veteran vaccine resources in the spring. Now we’re partnering with IAVA to do even more.

During the Facebook Live event, Bob recounted the earliest days of COVID-19 when he traveled to Wuhan to report on the virus for ABC News. After his return to the United States, Bob realized the virus was serious, but even he could not predict how the situation would change so rapidly and dramatically. For Bob, it was hard to believe all that what would happen in the next calendar year.

“We had no expectations that we would get a vaccination as quickly as we did,” Bob explained as he was recalling his experiences in Wuhan.

Also during the event, Dr. Patel discussed strategies for getting more veterans to take the vaccine and the role friends and family can have in that process. She addressed the impact misinformation is having on vaccine hesitancy and how social media is changing the entire landscape of communicating with the public

“There’s no question you’re going to need to get local,” Dr. Patel said about getting those hesitant about the vaccine to embrace it. According to Dr. Patel, healthcare professionals have a key role in this process, but ultimately, individuals may need someone in their daily lives to embrace the vaccine. Those who are hesitant may be far more motivated to consider getting the vaccine after seeing a close friend or family member receive their shot as opposed to listening to a medical professional at a press conference praise its benefits.

The panel also spoke about many other COVID-related issues including the Delta variant and how its ease of transmission is presenting additional issues. We encourage you to watch the full presentation below to learn more and we want all of our veterans to know that “We’ve Got Your 6” when it comes to COVID-19 resources.