Vaccine Central

Watch Vaccine Central Town Hall special

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Thursday night, experts joined News 8 for an in-depth conversation focusing on COVID-19 vaccines, mental health and the planning of summer travel.

Guests included Dr. Virginia Caine, the Marion County public health director, and Kimble Richardson, a Community Health Network mental health counselor.

During the discussion, Caine responded to religious leaders who are against the vaccine.

“What do you say to the family members of someone who’s loved one has died? So, how do you say that they have died and this is just a hoax or this is not real? I know of some ministers from my home state who had initially felt the same as some of the religious leaders that you showed in this case, who became infected, ended up infecting some associate pastors, leading to one of the pastors wives dying and they now regret what they said and they did it with all good intentions and they honestly believe what they believe but that information was incorrect,” Caine said.

Richardson talked about the major increase in instances of depression and suicide locally.

“We have seen in the history of having a behavioral health service line at Community Health Network the most demand for our services ever since the ’60s and ’70s,” he said.

The panel also discussed how some mental health struggles come with anger toward the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Tameka Jones suggested people try not to worry about what’s happening in other places.

“Just because something is going on in Texas doesn’t mean the same situation is going on here in Indianapolis, that we have the same strains, and it also doesn’t mean that we have the same capacity in beds and ICUs (intensive care units), and, if your loved one were to get sick, you would want that bed to be available,” Jones said.

News 8 multimedia reporter David Williams tackled the topic of vaccine hesitancy.

News 8 senior medical reporter Dr. Mary Gillis looked at several of the latest developments with the vaccine.

Also, News 8 “Midday” and “All Indiana” anchor Alexis Rogers reviewed the influence of the church when it comes to getting a vaccine.