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New Ad Campaign Encourages Americans to get COVID-19 Vaccines

March 18, 2021
The campaign, part of a larger $250 million COVID-19 education campaign, will try to convince the hesitant to get immunized.

The White House is finalizing plans for a media blitz aimed to convince millions of hesitant Americans to get immunized against COVID-19.

The advertisements, part of a $250 million educational campaign, is a concerted effort from the federal government’s health agencies.

The “vast majority” of the budget will be used to buy advertising on TV, radio, billboards, and print and digital media (including social media), a Biden administration official told CNN. The campaign will be funded, in part, through the latest stimulus bill.

The campaign has been underway since last fall but hasn’t been launched yet out of concern that it would create additional demand for vaccines that were already in short supply, the official said.

"The trickiest part of this effort from day one has been timing messaging with vaccine supply, and that magic moment is fast approaching," the official told CNN.

Vaccine production has been ramping up for weeks, as has vaccine administration—about 2.47 million doses per day, according to the New York Times’ vaccine tracker. That, along with other positive indicators, prompted President Joe Biden to move up the date that every American would have access to COVID-19 shots to May 1, suggesting the ad campaign launch will be imminent.

That’s good news for employers that have spent the past year trying to keep workers safe from COVID-19. Many employers are encouraging their workers vaccinated, such as through vaccine incentives and their own educational efforts, while also navigating the murky legal waters of vaccine mandates.

Officials have said there will be different advertising messages to target different groups of people. At a broad level, these ads have been designed to reach Americans who are skeptical of registering for a shot or don’t know where to get a shot. The ad campaign will combat misinformation and also educate on vaccine efficacy and safety, Politico reports.

Anthony Fauci, MD, Biden’s chief medical adviser, and other government doctors are expected to be featured in the campaign. The recent ads showing former presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush and Obama getting vaccinated along with their wives are not part of this $250 million government campaign; they were produced by the Ad Council and the Covid Collaborative project.

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