California pediatrician Dr. Rhea Boyd’s initiative combats misinformation, dispels myths for the unvaccinated

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Dr. Rhea Boyd, a public health advocate and pediatrician, wants people to remember that unvaccinated people don’t fit in a box.

“The unvaccinated are not a monstrous monolith. This is not a group of people who primarily hate vaccination. They are not anti-science,” Boyd said.

She explains that the largest unvaccinated group is children who are not yet eligible, adding that among adults, those who have not been vaccinated are more likely to be between the ages of 18 and 50, earn less than $40,000 and “black or Latinx and no health insurance.”

Boyd co-founded an initiative where trusted healthcare professionals can help disseminate accurate information and dispel myths.

“A formal and informal way for people to talk to healthcare providers who are similar to them about their questions and concerns about the COVID vaccines,” she said.

The Conversation: Between Us About Us has garnered millions of views with the support of black and Latino healthcare professionals, and even big names like sociopolitical comedian W. Kamau Bell. There is a section on their website with dozens of videos in English and Spaniards can find answers to frequently asked questions. Boyd calls it a healthy rabbit hole.

Here’s her advice to families with children who cannot get vaccinated: “For all children who are just too young to get vaccinated, we need to make sure everyone around them is masked, including all children over the age of 2. COVID spread in crowded indoor environments, as school will come this fall.”

The partnership between the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Black Coalition Against COVID, and Unidos US has also reached thousands through virtual town halls.

“Five of the events so far and about 5,000 people stay on the line. And it’s almost like calling the radio live,” Boyd said. “We say ‘you’re live on the air, ask the provider your question’, and we’ve also been able to speak to thousands of people in the south, a part of the country that has some of the lowest vaccination rates.”

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