Experts from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) helped UMB faculty, students, and staff, sort through their concerns to help them understand if the COVID-19 vaccine is right for them during a forum on Wednesday, March 10 titled “Should I Get The Shot? A Community Conversation.”

A healthy dose of skepticism is good to have, but we have to educate ourselves to be aware when skepticism bleeds into conspiracy theory territory, said Mario Majette, MD, MPH, clinical instructor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, and director of student and employee health, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM).

“Mistrust is healthy in most cases as long as it really doesn’t go a little too far,” Majette said.

The comment centered around mistrust that some people shared about Johnson & Johnson, the maker of one of the three COVID-19 vaccines that have received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, because of its widely publicized talcum powder lawsuits, said Courtney Jones Carney, MBA, executive director, intercultural leadership and engagement, and director, UMB Intercultural Center. If people don’t have a choice of vaccine, it creates an apprehension for some people knowing they might be given the Johnson and Johnson shot, she said.

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