Photo credit: Dr. Octavian Gabor, Methodist College faculty
Three Methodist College faculty recently participated in a timely virtual panel discussion titled “Vaccines: From Development to Deployment” hosted by the Peoria Area World Affairs Council. Biology Professor Dr. Elke Scholz-Morris, nursing Instructor Sara Phillips, and arts and sciences Professor Marjorie Getz presented information and insights on the topic.
“This topic affects us here in Central Illinois, and globally as well,” said PAWAC Executive Director Angela Weck. “Until the world can reach 'herd immunity' through more widely accessible vaccinations, the people of Central Illinois will be restricted in their ability to travel and socialize.”
Weck shared that during the event which was attended by students, fellow faculty, and a broad group from the community, each of the panelists offered an important component of understanding the big picture of the pandemic.
Dr. Elke Scholz-Morris presented on the various vaccine approaches and explained which approach was used for the different COVID-Vaccines. She distinguished between conventional vaccines, new technology vaccines, and next generation vaccines and briefly explained how each of them works.
Sara Phillips presented COVID-19 from a nursing perspective and why vaccines are so important to our healthcare system.
Marjorie Getz discussed the phases of a clinical trial, the process of vaccine roll-out and societal, political and economic factors that can impact that process. She also spent time addressing the various myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines.
“From the discussion of the importance of public health to the varying kinds of vaccines in development to the front-line experiences of health care workers, the panel walked us through this complex issue,” stated Weck. “They emphasized the key take-aways of wearing masks, maintaining social distance, practicing good hygiene, and getting the vaccine, any of the versions, when they are available.”
This is the second presentation in which Methodist College has partnered with PAWAC. Methodist College philosophy professor Dr. Octavian Gabor is president-elect of the organization, whose mission is to bring the world to Central Illinois through a variety of engaging world affairs programs and education initiatives.