Ad campaign hopes to appeal to vaccine skeptics

Updated: Apr. 2, 2021 at 5:08 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Despite vaccination numbers going up, there are still some who are unsure about getting the shot.

This is why the Ad Council is launching a new campaign, titled “It’s Up To You” to try and appeal to the skeptics by showing life before COVID-19 hit.

The voice of music legend Willie Nelson sings over the image of classic Americana: Sports games and all their fans in the television spots. It’s meant to be a reminder and message for people to get the vaccine by the Ad Council and the Infectious Disease Society of America.

“There’s a lot of folks that are worried about new things - and certainly this epidemic and this disease is brand new for all of us in this society,” said Dr. David Wheeler, an infectious disease physician and member of the IDSA.

A recent Kaiser poll shows that about 13% of people surveyed would definitely “not get the vaccine” Among those results, it showed that in more-conservative groups, about one-third would opt-out.

“I think that group is going to be pretty hard to convince. It may come from political grounds, it may come from religious grounds, or it may come from maybe misguided views about vaccines in general,” Dr. Wheeler said.

The Ad Council and the Infectious Disease Society of America are hoping to lessen those numbers with the campaign, and Dr. Wheeler hopes that perhaps it gets some of the more doubtful crowd to look a little more into the vaccine for when they’re finally eligible.

“Part of the campaign is to try to help them learn enough so that when it is their turn, regardless of which of the three is available to them, that they go ahead and say ‘Okay, let’s do this.’”

Governor Ralph Northam announced on Thursday that all Virginians 16 years and older would be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine starting April 18.

But Dr. Wheeler says despite that, it will still take 80% of the population to get the shot in order for everyone to see relative normalcy again.

“Normal life like in 2019: that’s probably a ways away. I think there’s a whole lot of societal changes that have happened very quickly during 2020 that are not going to go away. I think some of the ways in which we work and interact have been changed forever,” he added.

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