Cross-posted from HHS Newsroom
As Part of COVID-19 Public Education Campaign, Effort Will Connect Doctors, Scientists and Medical Professionals with Influencers and Organizations on Their Platforms That Reach Millions of People
As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s “We Can Do This” public education campaign to increase confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines and encourage vaccination, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is launching a new initiative today [April 22, 2021] to connect Americans with facts and information on vaccines from doctors, scientists, and health professionals through high-impact digital platforms.
Research shows that Americans want to ask questions about the vaccine directly to health care professionals, so HHS is launching the “We Can Do This: Live” series to pair medical experts with prominent influencers and organizations with large social followings to meet people where they are with the information they need to feel confident about receiving the vaccine. Events will include conversations to answer direct questions about COVID-19, Instagram Live Q&As, and social media account takeovers where doctors, scientists and health officials can provide the public with factual, scientific information about vaccines.
The “Live” event series launches as all adults nationwide have now become eligible for vaccination and will focus on providing Americans trusted health information directly in the places where they already consume content online, including social media, podcasts, YouTube, and more. Individuals and organizations with large followings who have agreed to participate include:
- Barbara Corcoran, entrepreneur and investor, ABC’s Shark Tank
- Mark Cuban, entrepreneur and investor, ABC’s Shark Tank
- Olivia Holt, actress and singer, Freeform’s Cruel Summer
- Eva Longoria, actress, producer, director and activist
- Walter Kim, President of the National Association of Evangelicals
- Ana Navarro, political strategist and commentator
- Kelly Ripa, actress, dancer, television producer, and co-host of Live with Kelly and Ryan
- Ryan Seacrest, American radio, producer, and co-host of Live with Kelly and Ryan
- Recording Academy®
This initiative follows the launch of the COVID-19 Community Corps, a nationwide grassroots network of over 8,000 people who have signed up to be trusted voices in their communities to help get their families, friends, colleagues and followers vaccinated. Members include public health experts and scientists, local medical professionals and organizations, provider groups, community organizations, faith leaders, businesses and trade associations, rural stakeholders, civil rights organizations, sports leagues, and more. The Administration is providing these members with factual, scientific information on COVID-19 and vaccines, with the purpose of empowering them to encourage their communities to get vaccinated.
For example, Community Corps member Meals on Wheels is working with local governments, pharmacies and other community partners to host vaccination clinics at senior centers or offer mobile vaccinations to reach those who are homebound. The Catholic Health Association, another member, is promoting the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines through their “#LoveThyNeighbor” social media campaign, disseminated publications, webinars, media interviews and podcasts. The National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute, both members, have partnered with the University of Florida’s Center for Public Interest Communications to research which messages work best to communicate about vaccines with manufacturing teams and communities.
HHS’s public education efforts are co-chaired by Drs. Vivek Murthy, Francis Collins, Anthony Fauci, Marcella Nunez-Smith, and Rochelle Walensky.
Today’s launch follows the Administration’s investment of nearly $10 billion to increase vaccine access and confidence in hard-hit vulnerable communities, including $3 billion of CDC funding to support outreach efforts in the states through community-based organizations and trusted community leaders. HHS also announced $250 million in minority health grants to increase vaccine uptake in minority communities, and CDC has provided $255 million in awards to community and civic groups for vaccine outreach.