By Dena Vang
More than half the adults in the United States have gotten vaccinated. While these numbers continue to increase, addressing vaccine hesitancy among minority communities will continue to play a significant role in mitigating the disproportionate impacts of the virus and new variants for people of color and prevent widening racial health disparities. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) study shows that the rate of white people receiving at least one dose of the vaccine is still 1.4 times higher than Black Americans.
Trusted leaders, organizations, and healthcare professionals as well as local outreaches will play a key role in the success of vaccination efforts as the world reopens. The Biden-Harris We Can Do This public education campaign aims to increase public confidence in and the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines. Through a nationwide network of trusted messengers and consistent, fact-based public health messaging, the campaign offers resources to Black and African American communities to make informed decisions about their health and COVID-19.
“As someone who has had a close family member hospitalized with COVID pneumonia and who has lost multiple extended family members and close family friends to COVID, the risk of COVID infection and its consequences far outweigh not being able to gather in person with my extended family or my church family, and it outweighs the risk of getting the vaccine,” Dr. Felicia Collins, Acting Assistant Secretary of Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a video message.
The campaign resources also include downloadable public service announcements (PSAs) and video messages from Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, and Reverend Calvin Butts. Several toolkits are available for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU), Black and African American civic organizations, and community organization leaders to address vaccine hesitancy and encourage Black Americans to get vaccinated.
Visit the We Can Do This website to access all resources and toolkits.
Dena Vang is the Public Relations Manager at Creative Marketing Resources, a strategic marketing agency in Milwaukee and a partner of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.