COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Health is gathering medical experts, public health professionals and leaders from many communities to virtually lead COVID-19 Vaccine Town Halls throughout February and March.

Members of the ODH are determined to provide well-informed vaccination data to the African-American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian-American and other communities. Data reveals members of minority communities are underserved in COVID-19 vaccination processes.

“It is important to share reliable, factual information about COVID-19 vaccines with all Ohioans,” said ODH Director Stephanie McCloud. “These vaccines are safe and effective. There are many myths about vaccines and about the COVID-19 vaccine, in particular.”

“Having questions answered with credible information can impact whether someone chooses to get the vaccine. We are excited to provide accurate and reliable information from trusted sources,” she continued.

Vaccine town halls are open to all Ohioans but have been divided into sections to welcome specific populations. The first session is dedicated to members of the African-American community in Ohio Monday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m.

The town hall for Hispanic and Latino Ohioans is scheduled for the next day, Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Discussions will be livestreaming on ODH’s Facebook and YouTube channels or on their website.

“As we strive toward health equity in our state, all Ohioans need accurate information about and access to COVID-19 vaccine. We are pleased to make vaccine more accessible by distributing it to every county in Ohio, supporting bilingual vaccination pop-up sites in underserved neighborhoods, recruiting vaccine providers in highly vulnerable areas, and planning a COVID-19 vaccine webpage specifically addressing equity,” said McCloud.

Starting March 1 and 2, Pacific-Islander and Asian-American residents are invited to the live event, followed by rural Ohioans. Both are at 6:30 p.m.

ODH stresses that “although each town hall is targeted to specific populations, they are open to anyone” looking for accurate information to help them make informed decisions surrounding COVID-19 vaccination.

Ohioans can watch online or turn on their TVs and find the Town Halls on their local PBS stations, starting Feb. 27 through March 7.