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Covid-19 vaccine adverts are expected in the next few weeks as part of the $ 250 million Biden administration campaign

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The ads are part of a US Department of Health’s $ 250 million Covid-19 awareness campaign that will include a podcast hosted by “a well-known person” outside the government, the executive said.

In addition to the podcast, Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard professor and host of the PBS series “Finding Your Roots,” told an ad about the vaccines for the government campaign, according to the executive branch and an official in the Biden government.

Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, head of the Biden administration’s Covid-19 Equity Task Force, told CBS Face the Nation on Sunday that the government is “on the cusp” of launching a national education campaign aimed at increasing the health of the nation Vaccine offer is coordinated.

When asked by CBS’s Margaret Brennan how the White House will convince younger Republicans and non-Biden supporters who are reluctant to receive the vaccine, Nunez-Smith said there were unique messages for different groups in the US.

“We are preparing to launch this national public education campaign that will work closely with trusted messengers, influencers and others to reach everyone,” Nunez-Smith said on Face the Nation. She did not want to give a specific date.

Work on the campaign began last fall, but the vaccine advertisements have not yet been released because the vaccine is still in short supply and health officials are unwilling to create additional demand, a Biden government official told CNN.

“Once we get to a point where supply looks like it may exceed demand, the message of confidence for the vaccine needs to take effect,” the official said, adding that “we are getting close to the right time”.

“The hardest part of this effort from day one was timing the news of vaccine supplies, and that magical moment is getting closer,” the official said.

Heart changes

With many Americans struggling to get a Covid-19 vaccine – spending hours looking for appointments online, or even dressing like grandmas or driving halfway across the country to get a vaccine – it’s easy to forget that many other Americans aren’t like that are excited.

“We know that behind the early vaccine acceptors we are seeing now there is a reluctant and reluctant group lurking,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a longtime advisor to the US Centers for Vaccine Control and Prevention.

A new CNN poll shows that more than one in four Americans has not received a Covid-19 vaccine, nor does it intend to get one.

To prevent the virus from spreading, about 80% of Americans need to get vaccinated, Schaffner said.

“I’m very concerned about these (survey) numbers,” said Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“I hope the best for this campaign. I hope it reaches people wonderfully, ”he added. “They have to use facts that go to our heads, but they also have to reach people’s hearts because it is the heart that changes behavior.”

A campaign without Hollywood glamor

“Most of” the campaign’s $ 250 million budget will be used to purchase advertising on television, radio, billboards, and print and digital media, the government official said.

Robert Ehrlich, a former manager of a pharmaceutical company, said the budget was on par with advertising campaigns for popular prescription drugs.

“This is a big campaign, a lot of media can be bought with $ 250 million,” said Ehrlich, who now advises pharmaceutical companies and is not involved in the government campaign.

Grandparents are allowed to hug their grandchildren for the first time after vaccination

HHS began running ads in December as part of a “Slow the Spread” campaign to encourage Americans to wear masks, practice social distancing, avoid crowds and take the vaccine, the marketing director said.

For the vaccination portion of the campaign, after extensive research and working with focus groups, the advertising executives decided to focus on a specific message to encourage people to get vaccinated for other people.

“It really encompasses this powerful idea we’ve heard from people that they want to do it for others. They don’t get it for me to help me live longer, but because I want to protect my family, I want to protect my community, I want to protect my culture, “said the executive.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the senior medical advisor to President Joe Biden, will be involved in the campaign, and other government doctors may be involved later.

“We’re already thinking about how we can get Dr. Walensky and Dr. Nunez-Smith and … Corbett from the NIH. We have so many people who are so interested in them,” said the executive.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky is the director of the CDC and Kizzmekia Corbett is a researcher at the National Institutes of Health who helped develop Covid-19 vaccines.

The campaign could at some point include testimonials from people who were reluctant to get the vaccine but then decided to get it, the executive added.

At this point, apart from Gates and the unnamed podcast host, the campaign won’t include any well-known personalities.

“We’re not addressing celebrities,” said the Biden government official.

Gates said on The View last month that he turned to his friend Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the NIH, offered his help. In 1956, Elvis Presley got a polio vaccine on the Ed Sullivan Show, and in 2000, Today presenter Katie Couric got a colonoscopy on TV to draw attention to colon cancer prevention. Recently, Elton John and Michael Caine used their star power to encourage Brits to get vaccinated against Covid-19, and black celebrities have been part of the US including gymnast Simone Biles, actress Viola Davis and musician Questlove A CDC Foundation masking campaign. Former Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush and Obama and their respective first ladies are shown getting vaccinated in new public service announcements and urging Americans to get the vaccination when their turn comes are. The ads were produced by the Ad Council and the Covid Collaborative project and are not part of the HHS $ 250 million campaign.

The marketing director close to the HHS campaign said while celebrities could be used more widely at some point, this is not the right approach at the moment.

“There are other more effective ways to try and provide people with the information they need so they can make an informed decision,” said the marketing director. “In our research, we seldom, seldom hear people say, ‘I’ll get the vaccine when this or that celebrity gets it.’ “

In formulating the content of the campaign, the marketers chose to target those who are “vaccine hesitant” – not the relatively small group of Americans who are persistent against the vaccine, said the marketing director and government official.

“We continue to focus on the people who question the vaccine,” the official said. “There is only a limited amount of advertising.”

CNN’s Samira Said contributed to this story.

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