On February 3rd, 2021, a virtual event called the “COVID-19 Vaccine Townhall” was hosted by Representative Scott Peters, where he was joined by expert panelists, Dr. Shane Crotty, a researcher from the La Jolla Institute of Immunology, and Dr. Corinne McDaniels-Davidson, the Director of San Diego State University Institute for Public Health (IPH). The virtual town hall was held to give constituents of the greater San Diego area an opportunity to discuss the vaccine rollout from a local to federal perspective. Given the diversity of the panel’s expertise, the combination of political, scientific, and public health perspectives blended together for a rich and fruitful public conversation on the future of COVID-19. Throughout the townhall, many important topics regarding COVID vaccine distribution were discussed ranging from the CARES 2 Act, the pending federal COVID-19 stimulus packages, to San Diego County’s Health and Human Services local vaccine rollout plans. As the event continued and the live questions were raised, the panelists covered topics including vaccine hesitancy, the efficacy of vaccines, fears about the quick development of vaccines, and more.
Upon reflecting about the event, Dr. Corinne McDaniels-Davidson noted the importance of holding publicly accessible events where every person can have their concerns addressed and questions answered by experts from their community. McDaniels-Davidson said due to the inconsistent messaging from federal leadership and COVID-19 misinformation campaigns, she understands that people need guidance on the next steps with difficult and nuanced topics, such as school reopenings or timelines for society’s return of “normalcy.” McDaniels-Davidson noted that the panel did not have every answer, particularly when it came to timelines for full societal re-openings. Nonetheless, she feels that as a steward of public health that she was grateful to share her knowledge with the San Diego community.
Dr. Corinne McDaniels-Davidson holds an MPH in Epidemiology from San Diego State University, as well as a PhD in Public Health – Epidemiology from the San Diego State University – University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program.