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Youth Make Their Voices Heard at Vax Teen Hall

TSL Teen Hall Provides Facts From The Experts

Dr. Allison Arwardy

New developments on vaccine distribution are happening every day, and all teens are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine now! True Star had the honor of hosting a virtual teen-based town hall event featuring Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, and Dr. Wilnise Jasmin, Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Chicago Department of Public Health. During the event, Chicago teens shared their questions and comments about the COVID-19 vaccine. Here is a quick recap of how things went down.

First, we got real. Laying out the facts about what is in the vaccine, how our bodies receive it, long term effects, and more was the first step. With experts in the room to confirm any doubts and be up-front about the pros and cons, students were educated and enlightened. In an age of misinformation, it’s valuable to hear from people who truly understand the process of distribution and vaccination to set the record straight.

Next, we allowed space for personal stories. People were able to share why they have or have not gotten the vaccine, and answers varied with a range of perspectives. People are concerned about the safety of themselves as well as their family, and learning about what gauges community response is helpful for everyone. We opened a safe space without judgement to share and ask, which was healthy for all participating!

Lastly, teens had the opportunity to hear from one another. As the moderator, I appreciated getting to sit back and hear from those my age and otherwise. A pandemic may have made school and community meetings few and far between, but falling back into the routine of gathering with other peers and simply listening is a refreshment! Whether you’ve made the decision to get vaxxed or not, the info is out there and people are ready to be receptive and answer your questions. As always, stay safe out there, teens!

Watch the full teen hall event below.

 

By Leah Ollie, Senior, Whitney Young Magnet High School

Instagram: @leahgraceollie

Written by Leah Ollie

Leah is a senior at Whitney Young High School, and has been working with True Star since fall of 2020. She loves fruit smoothies and cats, and dislikes kale and action movies.

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