Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is collaborating with a coalition of 60 of America’s top hospitals and health care institutions on a nationwide campaign to encourage adults to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Led by Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic, the campaign “Get the Vaccine to Save Lives,” is designed to reassure the public that vaccines are safe, effective and necessary to achieve herd immunity and a return to normal activities.
“We are fortunate to have such an incredibly safe and effective tool available to save lives and keep our communities safe. It is imperative we equip people with accurate and up-to-date information about these vaccines to help them make the best-informed decisions on this important health measure,” said Larry Kociolek, MD, MSCI, Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control and Infectious Diseases physician at Lurie Children’s.
The campaign hopes to reach adults who are hesitant to receive a vaccine, including racial and minority ethnic groups and people living in rural communities. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey published March 30, 17% of the public say they will take a wait-and-see approach before getting it themselves, and another 20% say they will never get a vaccine or will only get it if required to do so for work, school or other activities. This leaves a significant portion of the population at risk of going unvaccinated.
The nationwide campaign includes print and digital advertising, media outreach, social media, an awareness video and an informational website.
With vaccine distribution underway, the campaign aims to help Americans feel safe and confident about receiving a vaccine. To achieve herd immunity and help end the pandemic, leading health officials say at least 75% of the population needs to receive a vaccine. Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who have been vaccinated.
“Our best strategy for returning to the way our lives were prior to COVID-19 is to maximize the number of people who are protected against COVID-19 by vaccine. We have had a fantastic start but maintaining strong education and advocacy efforts is essential to reach herd immunity,” said Dr. Kociolek.
More than 195 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and 48% of the population age 18 and over has received at least one vaccine dose in the U.S. through April 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization.
Ethos Creative Group of Burlington, North Carolina, created the campaign and donated their services. The New York Times, The Washington Post, Spectrum Reach and USA Today also provided complimentary resources.
For more information about the campaign, visit ourshot2savelives.org.