Hundreds sign up for vaccine town hall event targeting northeast Calgary residents

People in northeast Calgary will take part in a town hall event Wednesday designed to address the issue of vaccinations.

Ward Councillor George Chahal will host the Facebook Live featuring a panel of medical experts who can address questions about vaccines including dispelling myths and bad information.

The quadrant has spent most of the past year at the top of Alberta Health Service’s list of health zones with active COVID-19 cases in Alberta, which is why Chahal says the event was needed more than ever for his part of the city.

“There’s nothing more important than getting vaccinated so we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” said Chahal.

Northeast Calgary has been disproportionately affected by COVID, Chahal said. 

“We have our front line workers: bus drivers, grocery store clerks, nurses and people working at meat plants and distribution centres.”

Chahal said it’s crucial to discuss the importance of getting vaccinated and to make sure residents are receiving the most accurate and relevant information.

Coun. George Chahal says his ward has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, making vaccine literacy even more important. (Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)

The event’s Facebook page references “an age of misinformation and extreme political rhetoric” and mentions that it can be difficult to know who to trust when it comes to topics like vaccines.

“There is a lot of miscommunication out there and we see that with the vaccine hesitancy and that’s a concern,” he said.

Panelists at the event will include: Dr. Cora Constantinescu, an infectious disease specialist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital; Dr. Rupinder Toor, founder and medical director of The IUD Women’s Clinic and Dr. Annalee Coakley, medical director with Calgary’s Mosaic Refugee Health Clinic.

Chahal said the event will include guests from various backgrounds speaking in different languages, engaging in an open and in-depth conversation about COVID-19 vaccines, including information about distribution and how and where to get the vaccine.

The free event streams on Facebook on April 7, 2021, at 7 p.m. MT.

Participants need to register in advance to submit questions.

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