Vaccine documentary

Public Health Assistant Professor Featured in Vaccine Documentary

Sabrina Cherry8/2021 - Dr. Sabrina T. Cherry, an assistant professor of public health in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences is featured in a new documentary entitled Vaccination from the Misinformation Virus. The project was spearheaded by Chris Schueler, an Emmy Award-winning producer. The documentary aims to help address vaccine concerns by explaining why vaccines are safe, crucial to community health and save millions of lives annually. While the project includes Covid vaccination, it addresses all elements of vaccines including their history, how they are created, tested and what they contain. It also addresses misinformation and how to overcome that “epidemic.”

The program includes infectious disease experts, epidemiologists, pharmacists, physicians and various academics with expertise in misinformation as well as health disparities. “We have to understand that folks may be hesitant to get vaccinated for reasons we may not consider,” says Schueler. “Our experts explain how all kinds of issues throughout the country contribute to extremely legitimate concerns for many disenfranchised groups.”

Cherry was introduced to Schueler by her colleague and collaborator, Dr. Alicia Sellon, an assistant professor in the School of Social Work. “By the time Chris and I first met, he was aware of my work related to health disparities, access to care and health equity - particularly within African American or Black communities,” she says. The project resonated with Cherry for a variety of reasons. “Not only is the documentary release timely – largely and unfortunately due to upticks in Covid-19 – but it is both personal and professional,” she says. “I have friends, family members and community partners who cover all spectrums of vaccine willingness and hesitancy. I continue to assert that everyone must make informed decisions based on their livelihoods and the lives of those around them.” 

Cherry says the goal of the documentary is not to shame anyone or guilt people into getting vaccinated. “It is to offer multiples perspectives on the positive history of vaccines in our country and provide insight to why some communities may be rightfully hesitant to get vaccinated,” she says. “My greatest wish is that others will watch the documentary, engage in meaningful conversations, and make wholistically informed decisions moving forward.”

Vaccination from the Misinformation Virus has been made available to PBS stations across the country for future broadcasting. The College of Health and Human Services plans to show the documentary on campus and in the community this fall.

To learn more about creating partnerships for campus and community forums, please contact the College of Health and Human Services Community Engagement office at engagechhs@uncw.edu. For more information about this project, please contact Dr. Sabrina T. Cherry at cherrys@uncw.edu.