COVID-19 Interest Group

January 3, 2022

Meeting Notes

(by Tina Etcheverry)


We had an excellent, thought provoking, idea sharing meeting yesterday on the topic of vaccine hesitancy and the approach of motivational interviewing (and much, much more).  Thank you for everyone’s participation, identifying issues and challenges, and sharing their ideas.  A sincere thank you to Ken Brummel-Smith for starting off with his slides to get us started in the discussion.  See his attached slides.

1.  Define the problem of vaccine hesitancy (specifically in 5160 counties) - Ken, <PPTx presentation>
2.  Approaches to the problem - O’Neil and Ken
3.  Is there a role for Rotary to help out? - All
4.  Action items….tbd
Key points:
1.  We could have the most impact with vaccine hesitant “unsure” individuals, and not the self-identified anti-vaxxers.
2.  Creating trust in any discussion is a key to making progress.
3.  Approaches we may want to consider:
  • Assistance Program to provide free rides to vaccine sites or booster shots
  • Provide free home test kits, taking these to individuals and training them how to use them
  • Initiate a Rotary education campaign on CDC approved antiviral treatments, history of vaccine hesitancy in polio/Spanish flu and other examples.
  • Lunch and learn type events at local libraries
  • Train people in methods of motivational interviewing for private conversations, or even group settings.
  • Involve local leaders (religious leaders or non-political programs)
4.  Consider a District grant to support the effort (eg cover cost of free home kits)
  • How to reach people, specifically the unsure or vaccine resistant individuals
  • How to avoid political overtones
  • Confidentiality
  • Myths and misperceptions 
5.  We should look for partners in any approach we take, or model a program after other groups that are already working on this (eg League of California Communities, Kaiser, Public Health Departments, etc).
Bottom line - an absolutely excellent discussion and we don’t want to lose our enthusiasm for involving Rotary in this issue.  This discussion will be continued in two weeks and focus our attention on what other groups are doing and if any of these may be potential partners.
NEXT MEETING January 17th 4PM by Zoom.  Everyone on this list will be invited.
Thank you!
(510) 206-6932