06 Apr HHS Wants You – to Encourage Vaccinations
While the COVID vaccine roll-out may have stumbled getting out of the gate in mid-December, already over 106 million Americans have been vaccinated, with over 61 million of us fully so. This is great news for those who don’t want to join the nearly 3 million worldwide – and over half a million Americans – who’ve already died of COVID.
So with the US government footing the bill for the development and distribution of the drugs created under “Operation Warp Speed,” and now providing them for free to everyone in the country over the age of 16, for Pfizer’s, and over 18 for Moderna’s and J&J’s, and all age restrictions being lifted by mid-month – we should all be vaccinated by May. Right?
Turns out, now that we’re past the major problems with supply and logistics for ending the modern plague, we have one more obstacle to confront: us. About a quarter of us don’t want to be vaccinated.
Given that experts estimate we need 70 to 80 percent of the population to have COVID-19 immunity through infection or vaccination, herd immunity will be difficult for the country to obtain – especially since children, who are ineligible for the vaccine, compose another 24% of the population, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. So if roughly a quarter don’t want to be vaccinated, and another quarter can’t be yet, that leaves the country 50% vaccinated – nowhere near herd immunity. And most of the comments from those who are refusing to take it boil down to: they don’t trust it.
So what to do?
Create the COVID-19 Community Corps, a nationwide, grassroots network of local voices people know and trust, to encourage their fellow Americans to get vaccinated.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy have already begun meeting with the founding members of the Community Corps. The first picture that caught my attention was taken of VP Harris and Dr. Murthy in a hybrid Zoom meeting with inter-faith leaders. Already more than 275 founding member organizations that have the ability to reach millions of Americans have been tapped to lead the program. These groups include health professionals, scientists, MLB, NFL, the PGA Tour, NASCAR, businesses, rural stakeholders, civil rights and union organizations, LatinX, Native and Tribal, Black, and LGBTQ+ leaders. Basically, Americans from all walks of life are being tapped to become leaders within their own communities to help get their friends, family, and neighbors vaccinated.
Soon Americans will start seeing ads to promote vaccinations among key eligible groups in both English and Spanish. And Facebook is creating Social Media Profile Frames so members can share with their friends, family, and followers that they plan to get vaccinated – or already have been. And that’s not all: HHS is airing TV ads to encourage vaccinations among key eligible groups in both English and Spanish.
Membership in the Community Corps is open to anyone – including me – so I joined, and you can, too. Just go to wecandothis.hhs.gov/covidcommunitycorps.
Together, WE CAN DO THIS!
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By Mimi Grant, President, Adaptive Business Leaders (ABL) Organization – Round Tables and Events for CEOs of Healthcare and Technology Companies