COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – A panel of specialists with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center discussed efforts Wednesday to increase vaccinations in underserved communities in Columbus.

Moderator and critical care specialist Dr. Jim Allen was joined by Dr. Hal Paz, executive vice president and chancellor for health affairs at The Ohio State University and CEO of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.

Also attending was Dr. Leon McDougle, chief diversity officer at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and president of the National Medical Association; Mary Howard, executive director of Ohio State East Hospital; and Dr. Darrell Gray II, chair of Wexner Medical Center’s healthy communities oversight group.

The panel is growing more concerned over minority groups not wanting to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The group spoke with reporters, blaming misinformation about the vaccines and their safety and effectiveness on well-orchestrated social media campaigns.

“Some of those videos specifically are targeted and focused on the Black community, so that makes it important to have counter-programming,” McDougle said.

The doctors believe trusted voices in minority communities need to help educate patients about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines to help get over what they call their “vaccine hesitancy.”