The federal health officials said on Tuesday that a long-delayed education campaign would be launched in Jan., which aimed at encouraging Americans to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
In advance of the presidential election, an earlier effort ran into trouble over concerns that it was part of a $265 million celebrity-studded campaign to defeat the despair surrounding the pandemic.
Campaign Emphasizing The Power Of COVID-19 Is Set To Launch In January
In a background briefing with reporters, a senior agency public affairs official said that a review of the campaign was conducted, and the Department of Health and Human Services was cleared to proceed on Nov. 13.
Officials said that the power of the vaccine in stopping the spread of the virus and helping the communities is emphasized in the new science-based campaign through TV, radio, and print ads.
The vaccination efforts in the country began on Dec.14 with front line health care workers and the campaign is lagging behind it. According to the officials, the crucial part of guiding the program is managing expectations.
The HHS official, who spoke to reporters under the condition that their name and title not be used, said that at the current point of time they really get cautious about not creating demand when the product is not available to the crowd of the public.
The director of the Center for Health and Risk Communications of the University of Georgia Glen Nowak said that the media campaign of January makes sense. He also was a former communication director for the CDC’s National Immunization program.
He said that it is important to match up one’s message with people’s ability to actually get what you are promoting. He also added that people get frustrated when they are told to do something they can’t.
It was better to wait and provide general education now and a push later, according to the HHS officials.
Nowak also said that there was only so much that could be done before it was known which vaccines were going to be approved and what their characteristics were.
He said that something can be done, talking to and detecting the key influencers for groups who are going to be reluctant of the vaccines and creating those reactions as earlier is better. However to do much more than that would be difficult.
With help from various agencies, the campaign is being organized by HHS. They also work with public relations firms that are minority-owned and have long relationships with Black, Hispanic, and Native American communities.
The local spokespeople and members of local communities of color are also planned to be included in the campaign to get the word out. In health messaging Google also would be included.