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Coming up on Connections: Tuesday, July 20


First hour: Discussing COVID-19 booster shots

Second hour: Rochester's Puerto Rican Festival 2021Are COVID-19 vaccine booster shots needed? Government health officials say they aren't necessary right now, but Pfizer and other companies are trying to make the case. How will we know how viable the boosters might be and when we might need them? What are the ethical responsibilities of a country like the U.S. that’s considering boosters when many people in some nations don’t even have their first doses? We're joined by the experts to discuss these questions are more. Our guests:

  • Angela Branche, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases), and co-director of the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Ann Falsey, M.D., infectious disease specialist with Rochester Regional Health, professor in the Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and co-director of the URMC Vaccine Trials and Evaluation Unit
  • Marjorie Shaw, J.D., Ph.D., member of the Strong Hospital Ethics Committee, and associate professor in the Department of Medical Humanities and Bioethics

Then in our second hour, the Puerto Rican Festival is back. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. This year’s festivities will be different than in previous years: events will be held over two separate days at two different locations, and admission is free. One of the goals is to bring the festival to different parts of the city. This hour, we preview this year’s events and talk about the festival’s past, present, and future. Our guest:

  • Orlando Ortiz, president of the Puerto Rican Festival
  • Jessica Del Valle, site manager for Rochester International Plaza
  • Anthony Plonczynski, founder of La Cumbre
  • Annette Ramos, executive director of the Rochester Latino Theatre Company
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.