Students Debunk COVID-19 Vaccine Myths at Local Health Fair 
President's Community Wellness Initiative


August 11, 2021
Medical and graduate students spoke with Lawrenceville community members to encourage them to get the COVID vaccine.
PCOM faculty and students discussed the benefits of the COVID vaccine with Lawrenceville community members at the annual health fair.
PCOM Georgia students and faculty worked to educate community members about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Gwinnett Daily Post’s Back-to-School Health Fair.

Students shared that community members were much more likely to be immunized if they received reliable data from health professionals.


Eight PCOM Georgia students from the osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and biomedical sciences programs worked to educate community members about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Gwinnett Daily Post’s Back-to-School Health Fair and All About Kids Expo on July 31, 2021.

Led by faculty members Valerie E. Cadet, PhD, director of health equity curricular initiatives and an associate professor of microbiology and immunology, and Edo-Abasi U. McGee, PharmD, BCPS, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, the group’s mission is to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake within the Black, Indigenous, People of Color or BIPOC population through direct grassroots engagement. The event, part of the President’s Community Wellness Initiative, was held at the Rhodes Jordan Park Community Center in Lawrenceville.

To fund the work, Drs. Cadet and McGee were awarded a community-based research faculty fellowship in March 2021 from the Office of Institutional Advancement and the Office of Diversity and Community Relations.

Through a competitive process, eight students were selected to participate in the fellowship’s research team. They include Grace Anim (PharmD ‘22); Jessica Mulbah (PharmD ‘22); Krysten McNaught (PharmD ‘22); Marisela Plascencia (DO ‘24); LaSara Bell (DO ‘24); Jared Gordon (DO ‘24); Landon Mediavilla (DO ‘24); and Naima Bibi (MS/Biomed ‘22).

The team has worked to educate local church attendees and the broader community through health fairs. The group will participate in another health fair on September 11 at Lenora Church Park in Snellville.

According to Dr. McGee, at the most recent health fair, students discussed the vaccine with people who were “on the fence” about getting the vaccination and helped to answer their questions. They shared an informational brochure that they had created to debunk some of the common myths about the vaccine.

Health fair attendees were encouraged to complete a survey, which gauged their perceptions about the COVID 19 vaccine. About 100 fair goers received the educational pamphlet and 46 participants completed the survey.

Student Naima Bibi shared her thoughts on the event. She said, “It was encouraging to see that people are much more likely to be immunized if they receive reliable data from professionals.

“As health professionals, it is our job to convey correct information about diseases, especially in the case of a pandemic, in order to boost participation in making our society a healthier environment for all.

“Ultimately in order to save our community against future pandemics, the general public and health professionals must collaborate.”

According to Dr. Cadet, “PCOM Georgia students did a great job educating the public about the vaccine.

“We all know understanding is of utmost importance in increasing the public's faith in the vaccine, and, without the vaccine, the world will not be able to combat the pandemic and revert to ‘normal’ life.”

About the President’s Community Wellness Initiative

With a strong commitment to student volunteer efforts and community wellness, PCOM President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO ‘81, established the President’s Community Wellness Initiative (CWI) to enhance the culture of holistic health and well-being on PCOM’s campuses and in the communities they serve. The CWI aims to promote cross-campus collaboration in educational and health services programming and resources to support the physical, mental, nutritional and environmental wellness of the College’s communities in Philadelphia and in Suwanee and Moultrie, Georgia. Focus areas include direct patient care, health and wellness education, and clinical and community-based research.

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  • About PCOM Georgia

    Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500.

    For more information, contact:
    Barbara Myers
    Public Relations Manager
    Email: BarbaraMy@pcom.edu
    Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: 770-309-0613

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