Michigan promoting COVID-19 vaccine with $1.5 million advertising campaign

Community COVID-19 vaccination on-track in Rapid City
Community COVID-19 vaccination on-track in Rapid City
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 4:06 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan health officials are taking their push for COVID-19 vaccinations to the airwaves.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced a $1.5 million advertising campaign on Tuesday designed to inform residents of the safety and effectiveness of the two coronavirus vaccines on the market.

The ads are a response to research about residents’ concerns about the vaccines and some remaining hesitant to get the shots.

“We want all Michiganders to get the facts about this safe and effective vaccine and the steps that were taken to develop it,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “I am grateful and proud to have gotten both doses of my vaccine and I urge Michiganders to make and plan and get vaccinated when it is their turn.”

As of Tuesday, Michigan has distributed over 1 million vaccine doses and administered nearly 488,000.

State health officials are hoping to vaccinate 5.6 million Michiganders age 16 and older by the end of next summer. That would include 70% of the state’s adult population, which would provide herd immunity against COVID-19.

Michigan currently is offering the vaccine for health care workers in direct contact with patients, residents of staff at long-term care facilities, anyone age 65 or older and workers in critical occupations like first responders and teachers. However, vaccine supplies are short and waits for an appointment are long this month.

The state advertising campaign will appear on TV, radio, streaming audio, YouTube, search engines, social media and print publications targeting minority audiences. Officials used a statewide survey and six focus groups to design the ads.

Overall, a survey showed 66% of Michigan residents want the vaccine, including 34% who want it as soon as possible. But the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services noticed racial disparities in the survey results among groups who want the vaccine and those who don’t.

The main concerns among people hesitant about getting the vaccine are potential side effects, not wanting to feel like a test subject, wanting more safety information, wanting a long-term view of how the vaccine performs, looking for more information about effectiveness and politicians pushing out a vaccine before it is safe.

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