Bartholomew County health officials step up vaccinations with targeted messages
COLUMBUS, Ind .–– As communities continue to see declining demand for COVID-19 vaccines, members of the Bartholomew County COVID-19 Task Force hopes to reach those who have not been vaccinated and convince them to sign up for a date.
“As a community, as a city, we cannot start doing the things we want to do again until we are really comfortable with the fact that enough people are being vaccinated,” he said. said Mary Ferdon, general manager of administration for the city of Columbus.
Members of the task force, which is made up of various community and health leaders, are planning surveys of residents who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. They hope to identify the most common barriers to vaccination.
“Does it have to do with access or location,” Ferdon said. “Are they having difficulty getting anywhere?” Or is it myths?
Once the information is gathered, it will be incorporated into a targeted public messaging campaign to promote the vaccines.
“Many different messages will be needed for people who are skeptical, scared or worried,” said Julie Abedian, vice president of community health initiatives at Columbus Regional Health. “These will be very different messages from people who just don’t have access to them.”
Once the messages have been identified, project planners hope to involve local public figures to help them deliver them.
“Like the mayor and various CEOs and heads of organizations,” Abedian said. “People you can trust.”
The campaign, which could cover social media, radio and TV ads, will also include family doctors from the county.
“If someone comes for a primary care appointment, for example, your own primary care doctor will ask if you have received your vaccine,” Abedian said. “And if not, tell me about your worries, tell me about your worries.”
“We want people to leave their dates with a date,” Abedian continued.
After gathering enough information, the working group hopes to start rolling out the new campaign in the coming weeks. They hope to build momentum leading to planned mass vaccination clinics at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds on May 25-26.
“As a community, as a city, we can’t start doing the things we want to do again until we’re really comfortable with enough people getting vaccinated,” Ferdon said.
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