AHC Panel Discussion: COVID Vaccine History, Ethics, Epidemiology

While the vaccine is in sight, the pandemic isn’t over yet. Learn what comes next in a fascinating discussion

Media Contact: Patrick Luce, 401-874-4046 |

KINGSTON, R.I. — January 14, 2021 — With the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in December, people across the country and around the world could finally begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But the end is not here yet. Between the approval of various vaccines and the possible eradication of the disease itself, there is much to do.

What does history tell us about previous mass vaccination efforts? Who gets the vaccine and when? Once vaccinated, do those vaccinated have different rights and freedoms from other people? Why is close to half the population hesitant to get vaccinated? When will herd immunity be achieved?

The University of Rhode Island Academic Health Collaborative has assembled an interprofessional team of experts who can provide insight from different perspectives to answer these questions and more. The virtual panel discussion about the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. Participation is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Log onto cutt.ly/COVIDconvo for more information and to register.

Panelists include:

  • Philip Chan, MD, MS, Medical Director, Rhode Island Department of Health
  • Cheryl Foster, Ph.D., Carnegie Professor of Philosophy, URI Philosophy Department
  • Andrea Rusnock, Ph.D., Professor, URI History Department
  • Kerry LaPlante, Pharm.D., FCCP, FIDSA, Pharmacy Practice Department Chair and Professor, URI College of Pharmacy
  • Marc Hutchison, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, URI Political Science Department

Previous presentations in the series include discussions on how COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted older adults; how the pandemic has exposed disparities in health care; how healthcare workers are battling the virus, from their perspective; and the need for front line health workers to practice self care. The full discussions are available at cutt.ly/4hQ16I8.

The panel discussion series is funded in part by the R.I. Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ Workforce Transformation Program through a grant to URI’s Interprofessional Education and Practice Initiative.