The nonprofit Ad Council and the COVID Collaborative, a group of leading experts in public health, education, and the economy, have announced the launch of a $50 million public education campaign aimed at promoting COVID-19 vaccination.
According to a recent survey fielded by the collaborative, 86 percent of Americans believe that a vaccine would be effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19, but only 34 percent say they would definitely get vaccinated themselves. A separate survey fielded by the collaborative, the NAACP, and UnidosUS found that trust in a vaccine is particularly low among Black and Latinx communities, with only 14 percent of Black Americans and 34 percent of Latinx Americans trusting that a vaccine will be safe.
To address the lack of confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine among those who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus, the collaborative has convened a diverse advisory group and is working to raise $50 million from the private sector in support of the Ad Council Vaccine Education Campaign. With the aim of countering vaccine skeptics and encouraging members of the public to get vaccinated, the Ad Council is developing and testing public service announcements to be rolled out across traditional and social media outlets in early 2021 as approved vaccines are made available to the general public. The organization's efforts will focus on addressing misconceptions and concerns around vaccine safety and effectiveness; uniting trusted messengers, influential voices, and large-scale platforms around consistent, research-based messaging; tailoring communications to reach diverse audiences through strategic media placements and community-based outreach; and reinforcing the importance of wearing face masks even as vaccines are being rolled out.
The organization and the COVID Collaborative have also created a Mask Up America toolkit for the National Governors' Association that provides customizable resources designed to help governors communicate the importance of wearing face coverings. In the 1950s, the Ad Council conducted a similar campaign around polio vaccination.
"COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting Black Americans, and generational trauma has led to massive distrust of vaccines," said NAACP chief executive Derrick Johnson. "The national education campaign will be a critical step in providing Black communities with the information they need to rebuild trust and get vaccinated."
"Like all Americans, Latinos want to do what is best for their families and their communities," said UnidosUS president Janet Murguía. "UnidosUS is proud...to partner with the COVID Collaborative to create culturally relevant and language-appropriate messaging for our community. Through this education and awareness campaign, we will help Hispanic Americans have the accurate and easy-to-understand information they need to protect themselves, their families, and their communities by getting vaccinated."
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