Watch the COVID-19 Vaccines Community Town Hall

Watch a panel of experts discuss COVID-19 vaccines through the lens of cystic fibrosis.

Feb. 21, 2021 | 4 min read
Melanie Lawrence

I had the pleasure of moderating the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's COVID-19 Vaccines Town Hall and continue to be inspired by the people fighting for us and with us. The panel of experts -- Dr. Christian Merlo, Dr. Al Faro, and Mary Dwight -- had their work cut out for them because there is much we don't yet know about these vaccines. Despite that challenge, they did an amazing job of breaking down the information in a way that was easy to understand. More so, they spoke from a place of humanity, empathy, and candor -- what's not to love?!

Some people are hesitant to get vaccinated. What we put into our bodies is a very personal choice, and we need to respect one another's decisions. But there is a ton of misinformation out there.

The panel discussion helped me separate fact from fiction so I can make a more informed decision.

I appreciate the information that Dr. Merlo, associate director of the CF center at Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Faro, a pediatric pulmonologist who heads up the Foundation's lung transplant initiative, thoughtfully shared. It truly puts me at ease to see so many medical professionals that I respect and admire, like Dr. Michael Boyle, get the vaccine themselves. If they feel safe getting the vaccines, I do as well.

I am also deeply grateful for Mary Dwight, chief policy and advocacy officer at the Foundation, who clearly explained the very complicated topic of vaccine prioritization and distribution. I also appreciate the CF Foundation's fierce advocacy efforts helping our community get access to vaccines. I look forward to living with less fear about contracting COVID-19 and doing my part to help slow the pandemic. Community + science = hope! You can watch the entire event below.

  • 4:06-7:48 - COVID-19 Update from Dr. Mike Boyle
  • 8:55-15:04 - Can you give us an overview of the currently authorized and upcoming COVID-19 vaccines?
  • 15:05-16:43 - Are the authorized vaccines safe?
  • 16:44-17:52 - How do we know the authorized vaccines are effective?
  • 17:53-21:50 - Can you talk about vaccine hesitancy?
  • 21:51-23:35 - What are the side effects?
  • 23:36-25:13 - How long will a vaccine provide protection against COVID-19?
  • 25:14-27:30 - Will we need to develop more vaccines for the new variants of COVID-19 that are emerging?
  • 27:31-36:04 - When will people with CF be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
  • 36:05-38:57 - What is the process to get vaccinated? Will care centers offer them?
  • 39:02-41:11 - Can people get vaccinated if they've had an organ transplant?
  • 41:13-42:30 -  When can children get vaccinated?
  • 42:31-43:49 -  Can pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding get vaccinated?
  • 43:50-44:33 -  Will family members or members of the same household be able to get the vaccine at the same time the CF person receives the vaccine?
  • 44:49-45:15 -  Does the vaccine interact with any other medications like highly effective modulators?
  • 45:17-47:17 -  What is the CF Foundation doing to ensure that people with CF are in the early vaccine group?
  • 47:20-48:22 -   Can people who get the vaccine still spread COVID-19?
  • 48:23-48:54 -   Do you know of any people with CF who have been in the vaccines clinical trials?
  • 48:55-50:23 -  How will people know when they're eligible to get vaccinated?
  • 50:24-52:30 -  What precautions should people living with CF and their families continue to take after they get vaccinated?
  • 52:31-53:19 -  If you've already had COVID-19, should you still get vaccinated?
  • 53:22-54:19 -  Will patients have a choice of which vaccine they receive?
  • 54:22-54:53 -  Will COVID-19 vaccine information be captured on the CF registry?
  • 55:00-55:34 -  Is there a benefit to waiting for the vaccines that aren't yet authorized?
  • 55:35-55:59 -  Could you get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as another vaccine like the flu shot? Correction Jan. 20, 2021: If you get the vaccine for COVID-19, wait 14 days before getting a vaccine for other illnesses, such as flu or shingles.
  • 56:27-59:30 -  Is there any advice you would share as we navigate this time?
  • 59:31-1:04:08 - Closing Thoughts

Interested in sharing your story? The CF Community Blog wants to hear from you.

This site contains general information about cystic fibrosis, as well as personal insight from the CF community. Opinions and experiences shared by members of our community, including but not limited to people with CF and their families, belong solely to the blog post author and do not represent those of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, unless explicitly stated. In addition, the site is not intended as a substitute for treatment advice from a medical professional. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment.

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Melanie has a burning passion for humanity and connection. She loves her work serving on various committees for the CF Foundation, Boston Children's Hospital/Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Cystic Fibrosis Learning Network; teamwork really does make the dream work! She leads a mindful lifestyle and loves exploring nature with her son, Myles, as well as writing, volunteering, and spending time with her beloved squad. Mostly, she strives to be a good human and raise a good human.

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