Q&A session tackles concerns about vaccines and women’s health

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Anyone with questions about vaccines and their impact on female health will have a chance to discuss those concerns with a local medical professional, in what organizers are calling a non-judgemental environment.

Come Together CK is hosting a question and answer session on Thursday night with Dr. Charles Hamm, chief of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

According to Hamm, he will be answering questions people have surrounding vaccines and whether to not they can impact certain aspects of a woman’s health as well as addressing any concerns that individuals may have which have resulted in them not getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Some of the topics that people are free to ask Dr. Hamm about include pre-natal, pregnancy and post-natal, menopause, hormone replacement therapy and fertility.

Hamm said the goal is to provide people with a judgement-free space and to clarify any common concerns or misconceptions about vaccines.

“There really are no silly questions. People have concerns and we understand them. People have concerns about their menstrual cycle, they hear stories about your menstrual cycle changing…people are concerned that if you get the vaccine it’s going to affect their fertility, and we’ll talk about that,” he explained. “We’re not going to sit through and go through a bunch of numbers…because people’s attention will wane when that happens. We’re just going to have a good common sense conversation.”

Dr. Charles Hamm (Photo via Come Together CK Facebook)

Dr. Charles Hamm

In his profession, Dr. Hamm said that over the past year he has seen a major increase in vaccine hesitancy and people who are concerned about getting vaccinated.

Hamm added that the purpose of the event is not to pressure people to change their minds or to get more people vaccinated but rather to get more people informed so they can make a clearer personal choice.

He also said that people shouldn’t expect a heated political discussion about vaccinations.

“It’s unfortunate that that’s happened. It’s not that there are a bunch of anti-vaxxers out there that are acting maliciously and it’s not that we have big vaccine companies that are acting maliciously. I think we need to start from that position,” said Hamm. “The stuff people hear, they’re trying to do the right thing. Sometimes they’re just not reading literature correctly and the consequence is that people are getting scared because it’s hard to know what to believe.”

Hamm said a session like this is especially important right now, as many workplaces across the region prepare to implement vaccine policies where employees could be reprimanded for not getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

“It’s a horrible thing to feel you have to do something against your will and we want to try and avoid that,” he explained. “If people decide to get the vaccine, we want them to do that willingly because they’ve been properly informed.”

Thursday’s event is free to attend. Anonymous questions can be sent to ComeTogetherCK@gmail.com.

The session will be live-streamed on the Come Together CK Facebook page starting at 7 p.m. It will also be recorded and available for viewing after the broadcast.

According to event organizers, similar Q&A sessions are planned for the coming weeks which will feature different topics and speakers.