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Public health experts on health equity and the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic

Mark Ghaly and Kizzmekia S. Corbett join Washington Post Live on Friday, Sept. 23. (Video: The Washington Post)

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and exacerbated economic, racial and health disparities across the country. California’s Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly and Kizzmekia S. Corbett, assistant professor, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, join Washington Post Live to discuss health equity, the lessons learned from the pandemic and how we can better prepare and respond to the next one.

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“I’ve certainly, over the last two and a half years, been humbled by any predictions of where we are. We know that COVID is a swirly virus that mutates for a living and even though the current situation is better than it has been in recent months... We remain prepared in California and I hope across the nation, for what could come next. So, in many ways, we in the public health community are preparing for changes to come as we’ve seen other times… certainly something that continues to be on our mind.”- Secretary Mark Ghaly (Video: Washington Post Live)
“The economic inequality that we see in certain parts of our state create living conditions that were not optimal for protecting yourself against the virus… Early on we knew these conditions were going to change the impact of the pandemic and that’s directly connected to economic inequalities and economic status… We also know that there’s a deep cross between race and ethnicity and as we process data… we see a real impact on life expectancy… That isn’t just an economic issue, we believe also is connected to those racial, ethnic disparities that were knowledgeable of, but have a lot of work to do to ameliorate and improve.”- Secretary Mark Ghaly (Video: Washington Post Live)
“We have a plethora of data to support the vaccines being safe and also being effective, particularly against very severe disease… I understand where people were coming from in the beginning of the pandemic, as they watched vaccine development really for the first time in many people’s lives, happening on a day-to-day basis… But where we are now it's very clear that, while the vaccine was developed in record speed... we've proved ourselves over and over... that this vaccine is very safe and worthy to be taken."- Kizzmekia S. Corbett, PhD (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I think that people really have pandemic exhaustion… We are facing this level of exhaustion that is very hard to come by, even if it is not about vaccine inquisitiveness or hesitancy… people really don’t necessarily think that the risk is higher enough for them to continue to go get boosters... I think we haven’t necessarily educated and kept the conversation going with people in the most diligent manner in order to really help them to continue to be abreast of whether they want to be boosted or not.” Kizzmekia S. Corbett, PhD (Video: Washington Post Live)

California Health & Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly

Kizzmekia S. Corbett

Assistant Professor, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

Content from GSK

The following content is produced and paid for by a Washington Post Live event sponsor. The Washington Post newsroom is not involved in the production of this content.

(Video: Washington Post Live)

Addressing Gaps in Adult Vaccination Rates

Rates of U.S. adult vaccinations have declined over the past several years, especially during the first two years of COVID and among minority communities. Building on lessons learned from the pandemic, up-to-date data (vs. annual analysis) is a key component in helping to identify the gaps and reversing the routine immunizations decline.

In a segment presented by GSK, speakers focus on data transparency, adult vaccination rates and Vaccine Track, a first-of-its-kind publicly accessible database and public health initiative.

Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH

President & Chief Executive Officer,

Judy Stewart

Senior Vice President & Head of U.S. Vaccines, GSK