The federal government is launching a $250 million public education campaign to encourage Americans to take the coronavirus vaccine. According to the New York Times, the campaign will launch this week in radio, print, and on social media, just as the first U.S. patients are receiving their first dose of the vaccine. Television advertising will be added when the vaccine becomes more widely available.
“I have advised my team that we recognize our operating environment is complicated, we have a public health mission, and we need to stay focused on that,” Mark Weber, the federal health official running the campaign, told The New York Times. He said the campaign is battling “a credibility factor right now,” with worries about the safety of a vaccine that was produced in record time and is being rushed out to millions of Americans.
To help determine the best way to educate the public about the vaccine, the National Association of Broadcasters partnered last month with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute on a research project to identify effective COVID-19 vaccine education messaging, Inside Radio reported. The findings will be used by local radio and television stations to create public health messages and educational programming.