The campaign will specifically target groups who have higher hesitancy rates, like certain ethnic minority groups and those living in rural areas. Mike Brownlee, chief pharmacy officer with UIHC, says they’re looking at new ways to reach out to patients about the vaccine.
“One of the things we’re trying to do is incorporate vaccination into our clinic visits,” Brownlee says. “So when you come to have a checkup visit, ‘Hey, have you tried — have you thought about the vaccine, if you haven’t had it yet.’”
The campaign will use advertising and social media to encourage people to get vaccinated. Brownlee says hesitancy is increasing because the vaccine is now available to populations who are at low risk for getting seriously ill from the virus.
“We’re trying to help them see the more broad view, how this can not just help them, their families, but everyone in the community,” he says, “and then the more vaccine that we have in the community, the more it slows the spread, it can help everyone.”
State health officials confirm the UIHC did not accept more than 20,000 doses of its federal allotment this week due to declining demand.
(By Natalie Krebs, Iowa Public Radio)