HOME Media Kit Advertising Contact Us About Us


Web The Truth

Community Calendar

Dear Ryan


Online Issues

Send a Letter to the Editor



VProject Hosts Virtual Panel Discussion


By Tricia Hall

Sojourner’s Truth Reporter


The V Project held a virtual panel discussion that addressed and answered common and uncommon questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. The 60-minute Wednesday, February 10, event was moderated by Fred Lefebvre of News Radio and Toledo Buffalo Soldiers and featured two local physicians, Richard Paat, MD and Traci Watkins, MD. The discussion was aired live on Facebook and encouraged viewers’ questions that were answered by the panelists.


Operation Warp Speed accelerated the research, development and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process. The State of Ohio, along with all U.S. states and territories have launched a gradual vaccine injection plan. Since the initial announcement, Ohio residents 65 years of age and older, those with severe congenital or developmental disorders and employees of K-12 schools who participate in hybrid or in-person models are eligible for the vaccine. The panel launched the discussion by explaining the vaccine creation process.


“These are different phases to researching and developing a vaccine. The first phase is small population testing, the second phase is a larger population test and phase three includes between 30,000 to 40,000 individuals. In each study there’s a diverse population and studied a wide variety of people,” said Watkins.


 Traci Watkins, MD

Richard Paat, MD

The FDA has approved two vaccines for U.S distribution – the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the panelists is next for FDA approval.


“There’s other vaccines in the pipeline including Johnson & Johnson. There is a difference between the first two. All of the vaccines do a great job of keeping patients out of hospital and very sick and we want to decrease deaths in the area,” said Paat.


“460,000 people have died from this disease, the vaccine’s goal is to decrease the number of deaths. People who aren’t vaccinated could have symptoms and spread COVID to someone else. The vaccine makes COVID less likely to spread the virus,” said Watkins.


According to several verified health websites including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, there are common side effects associated with receiving the vaccine. An individual can experience pain or swelling in the arm where the shot was administered. The patient can also experience a fever, chills, tiredness and headaches through the entire body.


“I have heard stories about reactions. I received my second vaccine shot last Thursday. After the first shot I experienced soreness and after the second shot I felt tired and achy for half of a day. Some people can have fatigue, fevers, chills but no one has died from the vaccine. People are dying from the infection,” explained Watkins.


“I had my second vaccine shot two weeks ago and I echo what Dr. Watkins has said. Some people may need two days to recover, but it means that your immune system is working. Patients should talk to their trusted physician and go to trusted websites that follow the science like the CDC or health departments,” said Paat.


The VProject was formed as a community initiative to educate, motivate and vaccinate the entire Northwest Ohio corridor to dramatically slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To accomplish this, leaders from industry, government, non-profit, health care, education and religious organizations have united in this unprecedented effort to effectively mobilize our community, with a goal to vaccinate 70 percent of the population. According to VProject’s website medical experts agree that reaching 70 percent vaccination rate or ‘herd immunity,’ should be reached to assist businesses, organizations and community members thrive without restrictions.


“We will still have to wear masks even once your vaccinated until herd immunity is reached. It’s possible for some areas to reach herd immunity before others, but we travel and intermingle too often to ignore the importance of herd immunity. The CDC says we can reduce exposure up to 90% by doubling up on masks. Doubling masks offers twice the protection,” explained Watkins.


“This data is being tracked by the CDC, so we know how many individuals need vaccination,” shared Paat.


The VProject’s website and Facebook page provides resources and videos to address myths about the vaccine. The panelists addressed questions and myths that are common and those posted during the live event.


“If an individual had COVID-19 already, you have six months of immunity but it fades away. The data on this is currently iffy, but the individual can increase their immunity by taking the vaccine. The individual should wait about three months and wait until they are symptom free. However, we already have three variants so that could mean that we will need an annual vaccine. Once vaccinations increase, variants of COVID are less likely to increase,” shared Paat


“We’re currenting in the middle of the big rollout, but you should listen to the governor each week for the next eligible group of residents. Ohioans should worry about which vaccine they are receiving and get what’s available at the time. Any shot is better than no shot,” explained Watkins.


The VProject plans to post videos and resources that continue to address myths, these resources are available on the VProject Facebook page and website. Visit www.vproject.org for details.




Copyright © 2021 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02/25/21 12:23:08 -0500.

More Articles....

Aesthetic Visions: Toledo’s Black Arts Heritage

Local AKA Chapters Honor Eight Local Women During Annual Founders’ Day Celebration

Just Imagine

Black History Month Quiz

The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King,


Back to Home Page