Reading, PA — The Berks County Commissioners will host their Weekly Media and Public Update on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 3:30PM on Microsoft Teams Live Event. Click here to find the link to this meeting. This week’s update will focus on the importance of getting the flu vaccine this fall, especially in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the Berks County COVID-19 Medical Advisory Panel will join the commissioners to discuss the vaccine, offering education about the vaccine, addressing myths and providing information about where to go to get the flu shot. The Press Event will also be streamed Live to BCTV and the Berks County Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Welcome – Commissioner Christian Leinbach
Comments – Commissioner Michael Rivera – Berks County Small Business New Start Grant program, last day to apply
Comments – Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt – Update on Census 2020
Introduction of the Panel – Commissioner Leinbach
• Dr. Debra Powell, MD – Section Chief for Infectious Diseases and Medical Director for Infection Prevention at Tower Health/Reading Hospital. Dr. Powell has been a frequent spokesperson for Tower on issues related to COVID-19 in the media and during town halls and other events.
• Dr. Michael Baxter, MD – Past Chair of Berks County Medical Society. Past Chair of Tower Health Family and Community Medicine
• Dr. Jeffrey Held – Vice President, Medical Affairs for Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center. Dr. Held is PSH St Joseph’s clinical liaison with the County Commission and the Berks County community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Panel will address the following questions and topics:
1) How do you expect the upcoming flu season to affect the COVID-19 pandemic and vice versa? What can people do to prepare for the potential “double whammy?”
2) Every year we hear about the importance of getting the flu shot. Can you help us understand what the vaccine is and how it works?
3) What are the symptoms of the flu? How do they compare to COVID symptoms? Is it possible to contract both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time?
4) What do you think is important for the public to understand about the flu vaccine? Are there any misconceptions that you would like to address?
5) How are COVID-19 precautions affecting the way the flu shot will be distributed this year? How are medical providers adjusting to this?
6) Are there any other new challenges this year?
7) Question and Answers – Facilitated by Commissioner Leinbach