Hospitals have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response, including testing, treatment and public awareness efforts.
Now, a coalition of hospitals and health systems in Florida have joined forces in a campaign to encourage adults to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Get the Vaccine to Save Lives” is part of nationwide campaign featuring 60 hospitals and health care institutions designed to reassure the public that vaccines are safe, effective and necessary to achieve herd immunity and return to normal activities.
Seven hospitals in South and Southwest Florida are participating in the campaign with a goal of reaching adults who are hesitant to receive a vaccine, including racial and minority ethnic groups and people living in rural communities.
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey published March 30, 17% of the public say they will take a wait-and-see approach before getting it themselves, and another 20% say they will never get a vaccine or will only get it if required to do so for work, school or other activities. This leaves a significant portion of the population at risk of going unvaccinated.
The nationwide campaign includes print and digital advertising, media outreach, social media, an awareness video and an informational website.
With vaccine distribution underway, the campaign aims to help Americans feel safe and confident about receiving a vaccine.
To achieve herd immunity and help end the pandemic, leading health officials say at least 75% of the population needs to receive a vaccine. Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who have been vaccinated.
As of May 9, 9.3 million Floridians had received at least one vaccination out of a population of approximately 21.4 million – about 43% of the state residents. To date, the seven hospitals participating in the campaign have collectively vaccinated approximately 342,000 individuals across the communities they serve.
The seven South and Southwest hospitals that have joined the campaign include:
- Baptist Health
- Broward Health
- Cleveland Clinic Florida
- Lee Health
- Memorial Healthcare System
- NCH Healthcare
- Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
Floridians can learn more about the vaccine, including locations where vaccinations are available, by visiting the Florida Department of Health website.