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A Physician’s Guide to Increasing COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

Welcome to Beyond the Needle, a podcast for and by physicians. Sit down with our weekly guest primary care clinicians as we tackle the real-world barriers to COVID-19 vaccination uptake and share our experiences with implementation. Together, we’ll uncover practical solutions to help you and your team incorporate the COVID-19 vaccine into your practice and increase vaccination rates amongst your patients.

Working to honor the struggles and traumas of the pandemic, we will empower the primary care clinician to feel confident in implementing COVID-19 vaccinations so that their patients can receive the vaccine within their usual site of care.

Join I-VAC Faculty and primary care clinicians from across the state as they share the highs and lows of their experiences and lessons learned throughout the pandemic.

Together, we’ll cover topics like:

Pink Checkmark Implementation Barriers

Pink Checkmark Vaccine Hesitancy

Pink Checkmark Special Populations

Pink Checkmark Motivational Interviewing

Thank you for joining us as we come together to vaccinate against COVID-19.


Listen to our pre-recorded episodes and earn .50 credit for each episode. Take a short post test and evaluation on the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians online education library and earn credits for your time.

The Illinois Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA PRA Category 1 – The Illinois Academy of Family Physicians designates each Online enduring material for a maximum of 0.50 AMA PRA Category 1 credit™

Nurses and nurse Practitioners can submit Certificates of Attendance to their accrediting board to claim credit for participation.

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3. Motivational Interviewing During The Uncertain times of COVID-19

Vaccine recommendation fatigue is very real. We’ve all been experiencing it. But don’t beat yourself up over it! Join Mustafa Alavi, MD and Christina Wells, MD, MPH, FAAFP as they host Rachel Caskey, MD, MA and Amy Christison, MD to help breakdown motivational interviewing (MI) into simple steps and lay the groundwork for addressing vaccine hesitancy.

7. Outpatient COVID-19 Therapeutics

There were not many COVID-19 treatment options available in 2020 & 2021. Now there are at least four that can be used for non-hospitalized patients. The frequent changes may have been difficult to keep up with. difficult to keep up with all the changes. Timothy Ott, DO, FAAFP, IAFP President and Mustafa Alavi, MD, breakdown the options and share resources to help physicians feel more comfortable in selecting and prescribing the correct medication for each of their patients.

9. Addressing COVID-19 Vaccination Concerns for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers

Santina Wheat MD, MPH, FAAFP and Corinne Kohler, MD, FAAFP talk about some of the different aspects of their experiences with patients pre-conception, during pregnancy, and while nursing.  They will share conversations, additional concerns, and fears that this special population has as the decision to get vaccinated not only effects them, but it also effects the fetus and newborn.

10. Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccines for Children under 5 Years to 6 Months Old & Addressing Vaccination Concerns for Parents

Daniel Johnson, MD and Christina Wells, MD, MPH, FAAFP host this expanded episode to discuss, in detail, the COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 years to 6 months old .  They acknowledge that many physicians may be hesitant to recommend parents vaccinate their infants.  They will help listeners understand more about these vaccines so they are better equipped when recommending the COVID-19 vaccination and answering questions that parents may have. The COVID-19 vaccine has been studied more than any other vaccine in history.  Drs. Johnson and Wells will discuss the experiences they encountered in their practices and share information to help other clinicians include these vaccines as part of a regular patient visit.


We’re building this series based on the needs of our provider community. We want to hear from you! Send us your questions, concerns, and thoughts on COVID-19 vaccine implementation and our staff will work to address these throughout the series.

Submit Your Questions to the Beyond the Needle Team

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