PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The newly formed R.I. House of Representatives COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force met for the first time Wednesday.
Over a zoom call, the lawmakers spoke to the previous Director of the R.I. Department of Health Dr. Michael Fine, as well as the Dean of Brown’s School of Public Health Dr. Ashish Jha.
“We want you to understand that we’re going to make sure you get the vaccine, and we want you to feel safe about it,” Representative Raymond Hull said.
The over arching question is will Rhode Islanders feel like they can trust a COVID-19 vaccine?
Representative David Place asked, “why is it that we can have confidence in the fact that this was done in 10 months, versus eight to 10 years?”
“I think it’s a combination of luck, really hard work and a relatively easy virus to make a vaccine out of,” Jha responded.
The lawmakers wanted to make sure it was clear they will make sure the hardest hit communities in Rhode Island will not get left behind.
Dr. Jha explained to 12 News why people can not get the virus from the vaccine.
“It is physically impossible to get COVID from any of the vaccines that are being tested right now, certainly the two vaccines that have finished their clinical trials, the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine,” Jha said. “They don’t have any of the COVID virus in it, you can’t get COVID from it.”
“You cant get COVID from any of them, that’s going to be reassuring to people and it should help people feel better,” Jha added.
The members of the task force say they plan on meet again on Wednesday, Dec. 9, and this time they hope to hear from executives at Pfizer and CVS to talk about the distribution plan.