A coalition of 60 top hospitals and health care institutions have joined forces in a nationwide campaign to encourage adults to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Led by Mayo Clinic and Cleveland 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 return to normal activities.
“We’re asking people to talk to their health care providers if they have questions and then get vaccinated,” says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., Mayo Clinic’s president and CEO. “The vaccine is our strongest asset to end the pandemic, and I urge everyone who is eligible to get whichever vaccine you’re first offered to save lives.”
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.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and highly effective and offers our best hope for beating the disease,” said Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., Cleveland Clinic’s CEO and president. “We all want to see a return to our pre-COVID routines, when we can once again gather safely with family and friends. To reach that goal, we must improve vaccination rates to achieve herd immunity. Please sign up today because we are all in this together.”
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.
More than 209 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and 50% of the population age 18 and over has received at least one vaccine dose in the U.S. through April 18, 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.