August 20th Virtual Transform Westside Summit: “All You Want to Know about COVID-19 and Its Variants”

Westside Future Fund’s August 20th Virtual Transform Westside Summit featured: a devotional message by Good Samaritan Health Center’s John Allison, Director of Marketing and Communications; as well as an insightful conversation about COVID-19 Delta with virus expert Dr. Lilly Immergluck, Professor of Microbiology, Biochemistry & Immunology at Morehouse School of Medicine. The program was co-hosted by WFF correspondents Ebony Ford and Benjamin Earley and broadcasted live from MSM’s Louis W. Sullivan National Center for Primary Care auditorium.

The featured presentation with Dr. Immergluck was kicked off by a PSA from the prestigious medical institution titled “For Me, For You, For Us” which MSM released in early 2021. The video features a call to action for viewers to get vaccinated from MSM’s President & CEO, Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice. It also spotlights Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett of NIH, who helped develop the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and shares vaccination testimonials including that of the late baseball legend, Hank Aaron. View below.

Fully vaccinated, masked, and socially distant, Dr. Immergluck sat down with Benjamin Earley to offer viewers clarity on many COVID-19 related issues while encouraging vaccinations.

More than 98% of new infections are the delta variant,” said Dr. Immergluck as she explained that delta is twice as infectious and has a quicker onset that previous iterations.

Experts have linked most new coronavirus cases, including breakthrough infections, to the delta variant. Dr. Immergluck agrees with fellow experts that breakthrough infections are less a sign of vaccinations failing, but instead reflect how the unvaccinated offer a breeding ground for the virus to further mutate, making containment more difficult. Still, breakthrough infections are rare, and as Earley pointed out, “those who are vaccinated have only a 0.004% chance” of being hospitalized by the virus. To date, the unvaccinated account for roughly “99.5% of deaths and 97% of hospitalizations” linked to the virus.

Another key topic was Long Haulers Syndrome, which causes lingering COVID-19 symptoms well beyond the typical timetable of symptomatic infections. Dr. Immergluck expressed that due to the novel nature of the virus, experts don’t yet have enough data to know just how long the syndrome could affect patients. According to Dr. Immergluck and the greater medical community, this is one more reason to emphasize the need for vaccinations in the effort to avoid long term effects of the virus which could possibly last for years.

Dr. Lilly Immergluck speaks on COVID-19 vaccinations at the August 201th Virtual Transform Westside Summit.

Earley asked Dr. Immergluck to address public concerns of trust in communities of color regarding vaccinations, drawing attention to the historical occurrences of government sanctioned medical abuse of African Americans such as the Tuskegee Experiment. Immergluck spoke to the importance and impact of having people of color not only represented on the patient side of clinical trials, but also as experts conducting the medical research. Through adequate representation across the board, the public can be assured that the efficacy of vaccines are consistent across racial and cultural lines.

View the full interview below.

Ebony Ford helped close the show by announcing the winners of the gift card giveaway courtesy of The Home Depot Foundation and Goodwill of North Georgia. The summit returns September 17th, register to attend here.

Ebony Ford and Benjamin Earley offer final thoughts to close August 20th Virtual Transform Westside Summit.

Use #WestsideFutureFund to share your vaccination testimonials with us on social media as we work to #StopTheSpread of COVID-19!