Ad Campaign Launched to Boost Vaccine Confidence
HealthyMKE is running the "Authentic Voices" campaign countywide.
Community, health and local government groups in Milwaukee are encouraging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with a $900,000 campaign featuring those who’ve already received their shots.
The Authentic Voices campaign begins April 12 and will go through the summer. It includes door-to-door canvassing along with radio, print and television spots which will also appear on the HealthyMKE website.
“A campaign like this is needed because we are continuing to see vaccine hesitancy in our communities and our goal is to reach vaccine confidence,” explained Mara Lord, Chair of the HealthyMKE Vaccine Communications and Community Mobilization Committee.
Between 70-85 percent of the population needs to be immune to COVID-19 in order to prevent the disease from spreading, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Even those who have had COVID-19 should get vaccinated because it’s not known how long immunity lasts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Milwaukee resident Laura Manriquez had COVID-19 twice and doesn’t want it again.
“I felt like a truck rolled over my body. I didn’t lose my taste or smell, but was dealing with a lot of pain throughout my body,” she said of her two bouts with the disease, first in January 2020, then again in September of that same year.
Manriquez, a ventilator nurse who is attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she’s studying health care administration, is featured in the Authentic Voices campaign and has received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Gwen Washington is also part of the promotional campaign. She lost a first cousin to COVID-19 and a friend she considered a “surrogate father.” Washington has gotten her first shot of the Moderna vaccine.
“And I’m looking forward to the second one,” Washington said, although she admitted having some initial apprehension about the process and short-term side effects.
That was eased, she said, through vaccine outreach at food pantries, churches, and health clinics in her neighborhood.
After Washington received her shot, she shared a video on social media of herself getting the vaccine. That prompted some friends and relatives to go get vaccinated, she said.
The vaccines are new and federal health officials say family and friends can help address the concerns of others by listening “with empathy and identifying the cause of those concerns.” The CDC has tips for how to talk about COVID-19 vaccines with loved ones.
The Milwaukee promotional campaign will train more than 200 individuals to engage in door-to-door canvasing, with a particular emphasis on 15 low-income ZIP codes identified as having the highest vulnerability based on guidance from the CDC.
While Wisconsin has been at or near the top for vaccine distribution, it ranks in the bottom third of states when it comes to inoculating those living in underserved communities. A CDC study comparing state vaccine distribution based on “social vulnerability” found Wisconsin ranked 32nd out of 48 states.
Beginning March 22, Milwaukee stepped up its efforts to reach people living in 10 ZIP codes with walk-in vaccination clinics and expanded outreach.
Milwaukee Aims To Boost Confidence Among Residents In Coronavirus Vaccine was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
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