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Ad Council working on campaign to convince people to take COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 12:19 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 15:19:40-05

There are a lot of mixed feelings about COVID-19 vaccines and why people would or would not take one. However, health experts say we'll need them to achieve herd immunity and get back to a more normal life.

“There's really a deep empathy for the hesitancy people are feeling. This is a big deal. It's normal to have questions about what's going on and we just want people to get the information they can to make empowered choices for them and their families, so we can really get back to what matters most for each and every one of us,” said Michelle Hillman, Campaign Development Officer at The Advertising Council.

The Ad Counsel is the agency behind decades of important messages like "friends don't let friends drive drunk."

Now, they are working on likely one of the most important campaigns of this generation, convincing people to take a COVID-19 vaccine.

Right now, it's in the early stages of research and won't roll out on TV, radio and online until early next year when a vaccine is more widely available. But you can expect a lot of different spokespeople from doctors and pharmacists, to athletes and musicians.

“The messenger in this case is going to be even more important in some ways than the actual message itself,” said Hillman.

There will also be variations of the COVID-19 vaccine campaign to address specific groups, like communities of color. They've been more severely impacted by the virus and tend to have more vaccine hesitancy. So, partnerships in the messaging will be important.

“We know that you know these on the community level people are already turning to churches and nonprofits and trusted messengers on issues like health care, hope, inspiration and all of them are really going to have to be messengers on this important campaign to break through to get people the information they need,” said Hillman.

According to recent Pew research, only about 60% of adults say they would get a vaccine. Health experts have said we would need likely between 70 and 80 % to get close to herd immunity.