COVID and kids: A timely conversation from a local organization with expert information
The Ann Arbor Chapter of The Links Incorporated, an organization committed to making a positive difference in the Washtenaw County community, is planning an online event on Sunday 7th Health Series.
Lisa Barry from WEMU speaks with the president of the local chapter, Lisa Bradley-Kern, about the event and the information they would like to share.
Listen to the full interview.
Lisa Barry: With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to make its way through our lives almost two years later, part of your current focus is on children. I’m Lisa Barry, and a local organization is planning an online pre-vaccination presentation this weekend for children ages five to eleven in Washtenaw County. And now Lisa Bradley-Kern, president of the Ann Arbor Chapter of The Links Incorporated, comes to speak to us. So, welcome, Lisa. And why not start with a brief explanation of your organization?
Lisa Bradley-Kern: Hello, Lisa. Big. Thanks for the invitation. Yes sir. The Links Incorporated is an international not-for-profit organization founded in 1946. As a national organization, we have over 16,000 working women of African descent and we are expanding in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. The local chapter really serves the Washtenaw County area, and we’ve been doing it since 1979, and our program really focuses on the facets of our national organization, national trends, international trends, health and social services, arts and services for you.
Lisa Barry: So what do you have planned for Sunday November 7th?
Lisa Bradley-Kern: The local chapter put together this series on the State of the Black Health. It focuses, as I mentioned earlier, on our health and social services that our national organization organizes. To date, this series has focused on health issues in the black community that, as you mentioned, were affected by the recent pandemic: vaccine awareness, reluctance, mental health, and emotional health. And our third series due on Sunday is really COVID and kids. And as you mentioned, this is such a timely conversation because of the recent announcement that five to 11 year olds are now able and eligible to get vaccinated. So just make sure our community receives knowledgeable and professional information to help them make this informed decision.
Lisa Barry: Who will be attending?
Lisa Bradley-Kern: So we have two panelists. Both are doctors. One of them would be Dr. Anne James Boyd, who is actually a member of our chapter. She specializes in pediatrics at IHA Pediatric Hospital Medicine at St. Joe here in Ann Arbor. And then Dr. Yolaine Civil, Clinical Lecturer in Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the University of Michigan. So, two experts in this field of pediatrics to make sure our community is getting expert information, not just information they hear from the websites or Facebook. We want to make sure people get knowledgeable information.
Lisa Barry: And they will give information about children who will be vaccinated?
Lisa Bradley-Kern: Yes, they are going to be talking about, you know, information on one subject, which is that there was a study of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and it really hit black children more than in our community. probably than any other church. And while it is a rare disease, it is a serious disease that has been linked to COVID-19. So just try to talk about the challenges that are out there and how this vaccine will be key to making sure our kids are safe because there are just so many different things people keep saying: ” Oh well, kids don’t have, you know, they don’t suffer from COVID that much. ” Well, that may not always be the case. So just to explain why the vaccine is so important and why we are really trying to protect our children.
Lisa Barry: Who do you think will be interested in seeing this?
Lisa Bradley-Kern: I would say anyone who has children between the ages of five and 18 because all of our children can now be vaccinated. And if anyone’s still thinking about it, you know, should I get the vaccine for my child if I’m hesitant about what I understand. I mean, this is a very, very important decision that families have to make. But I want to say again that this is coming and listening to people who deal with pediatrics. Dr. Civil who deals with communicable diseases are experts. And they’ll give their expert opinion there and then answer questions too, when people make that decision, should I vaccinate my children or not?
Lisa Barry: With this interview we will put a link to the event in your organization on our website WEMU dot org. But can you just tell us the basics? When and where and how can we participate?
Lisa Bradley-Kern: Yes, of course. So the event will be held by Zoom this Sunday, November 7th at 2:00 p.m., and additional information can be found on our website, Ann Arbor Links dot org. Or you can find information on our website under Ann Arbor Links on both Facebook and Instagram.
Lisa Barry: Lisa Bradley-Kern, president of the Ann Arbor Chapter of The Links Incorporated. Thank you for everything you do for the community and speak to us here at 89 one WEMU.
Lisa Bradley-Kern: Thank you, Lisa. We really appreciate your helping us promote this very important topic that has just caught on in our community.
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– Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or by email at [email protected]