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Biden administration announces advertising campaign to combat vaccination hesitation

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WASHINGTON – The Biden administration announced an ambitious publicity campaign Thursday morning to encourage as many Americans as possible to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The campaign with ads in English and Spanish, which will air nationwide on network television and cable channels and online throughout April, comes from the government’s rapid expansion of access to coronavirus vaccines, but skepticism about vaccines remains high.

President Biden announced a new goal last week, 200 million doses up to his 100. And last month, in an address to the nation, he announced a goal of all adults in the United States to be eligible for a vaccine by May 1 place. Governors and public health officials in more than 40 states have announced that they will meet or beat this deadline.

But deep skepticism about the vaccine remains a problem, especially among blacks, Latinos, Republicans, and white evangelicals. And an incident at a Baltimore plant producing two coronavirus vaccines where workers accidentally mixed the ingredients could also heighten fear. Up to 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine were contaminated in the mix-up, forcing regulators to postpone approval of the plant’s production lines.

Government officials still believe that supply will soon exceed demand if many Americans remain reluctant to get vaccinated. As cases rebound and variants spread in some parts of the country, vaccinating as many people as possible will be crucial to contain the pandemic and allow a return to a more normal life.

Two hundred and seventy-five organizations will participate in the new government public awareness campaign – including NASCAR, the United States Catholic Health Association, and the North American Meat Institute – aimed at communities where vaccines are still very reluctant. Among the organizations are many Catholic and Evangelical groups that are expected to help address religious concerns about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which uses abortion-derived fetal cell lines.

The group is collectively known as the Covid-19 Community Corps, administrative officials said, and the participating organizations can reach millions of Americans who trust these individual groups.

A new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation this week found that the number of black adults who want to get vaccinated has increased significantly since February. But 13 percent of all respondents said they would “definitely not” get a vaccine. Among Republicans and white evangelical Christians, nearly 30 percent of each group said they “definitely won’t” get a chance.

“The data shows a very large ‘moving center,'” said John Bridgeland, a founder and executive director of the Covid Collaborative, a non-partisan group of political and scientific leaders working on vaccine education. “Although many subgroups within the population are reluctant to vaccinate and we are following this very closely, our figures show that we could achieve herd immunity.

Government officials said their research showed that vaccination messages from medical professionals and community leaders, rather than celebrities or the president, are often more convincing.

Updated

Oct. 02/02/2021, 1:21 p.m. ET

“We’re not always the best messengers,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month as she spoke about conservative reluctance to use vaccines.

The full list of participating organizations includes health professionals, academics, community organizations, religious leaders, corporations, rural actors, civil rights organizations, sports leagues, and athletes. The Department of Health and Human Services is also participating in vaccination awareness efforts by posting “Let’s Get Vaccinated” frames that Facebook users can attach to their profile photos.

Part of the challenge of convincing skeptical Americans is the personal and varied reasons for hesitation about vaccines.

The state of vaccine mandates in the United States

    • Vaccination rules. On August 23, the FDA granted Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine full approval for people aged 16 and over, paving the way for mandates in both the public and private sectors. Such mandates are legally permissible and have been confirmed in legal challenges.
    • College and Universities. More than 400 colleges and universities require a vaccination against Covid-19. Almost all of them are in states that voted for President Biden.
    • Schools. California has become the first state to enact a vaccine mandate for all educators and has announced that it will add the Covid-19 vaccine as a requirement for school attendance as early as next fall. Los Angeles already has a mandatory vaccination for public school students aged 12 and over who will attend class in person from November 21st. New York City has introduced mandatory vaccination for teachers and staff, but due to legal challenges, it is still in effect. On September 27, a federal appeals court overturned a decision that temporarily suspended that mandate.
    • Hospitals and medical centers. Many hospitals and major health systems require their employees to be vaccinated. Medical mandates in California and New York state appear to have forced thousands of objecters to receive injections.
    • New York City. Proof of vaccination from workers and customers is required for indoor dining, gyms, performances, and other indoor situations. City education staff and hospital staff also need to be vaccinated.
    • At the federal level. On the 9th of September President Biden announced a vaccination mandate for the vast majority of federal employees. This mandate applies to members of the executive branch, including the White House and all federal agencies and members of the armed forces.
    • In the private sector. Mr Biden has ordered that all companies with more than 100 employees mandate vaccinations or weekly tests to drive new company vaccination policies. Some companies, such as United Airlines and Tyson Foods, had mandates prior to Mr. Biden’s announcement.

“I have a few pockets in which they cite religious reasons with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” said Shirley Bloomfield, the executive director of NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, which told the White House what she heard from members of her group . “There are a lot of pockets that people have already had covid in and a feeling of, ‘Well, we all already got it so we are not really pressured.'”

The tone of the ads is hopeful and is intended as a call to action that everyone can help end the pandemic by getting vaccinated.

To further emphasize this point, the Department of Health and Social Affairs separately purchased a multimillion-dollar advertisement in black and Spanish-language media, as well as media reaching Asian-American and indigenous communities to reinforce the message about safety and security Coronavirus vaccine effectiveness.

The government announced last week that it is allocating nearly $ 10 billion to improve access to vaccines and confidence in minority communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

Biden officials have been working with many of the groups involved in the Covid-19 Community Corps since the president’s transition, but the formal launch of an advertising campaign had to wait until vaccine supplies were at a level where people could act quickly on theirs Information provided.

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