Newswise — Los Angeles (October 8, 2021) –The campaign, which includes eight weeks of radio advertisements, along with social media posts, billboards and emails to patients, declares, “We stand by science, so we stand by the vaccine.”
“We want to be part of the solution and encourage every corner of our community to get vaccinated,” said Richard Riggs, MD, senior vice president of Medical Affairs and chief medical officer. “We need everyone to be vaccinated in order to protect the most vulnerable among us.”
The messages come at a critical time, when about 64% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percentage in California is slightly higher than the national average, with more than 70% having received at least one dose.
While these numbers seem promising, nationwide, certain age groups are lagging behind. In 18- to 24-year-olds, 63% have received at least one dose. In 16- to 17-year-olds, only about 61% have received at least one dose. And in 12- to 15-year olds—the youngest group eligible to receive a vaccine—only about 53% have received at least one dose.
Most experts say those percentages aren’t enough to reach the herd immunity needed to end the pandemic.
“To reach herd immunity, it’s simple: More people must get vaccinated,” said Soniya Gandhi, MD, vice president of Medical Affairs and associate chief medical officer at Cedars-Sinai.
Cedars-Sinai has been encouraging vaccination against COVID-19 since the first vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in December 2020.
Shortly after the first vaccines were approved, the healthcare system launched vaccine drive-thru and pop-up clinics in locations throughout the Los Angeles area. Through these clinics, Cedars-Sinai has vaccinated nearly 116,000 people.
Cedars-Sinai also has partnered with local organizations on several campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy, particularly in community groups that have low vaccination rates. The campaigns fight misinformation by providing experts to address questions and concerns, and by empowering conversations between community members and their local leaders.
Meanwhile, Cedars-Sinai has encouraged patients to not let their healthcare slip during the pandemic. The “We’re Right Here” campaign urges patients not to skip or delay critical checkups and health screenings, like mammograms and colonoscopies. Delaying care could delay diagnosis and complicate treatment of certain conditions.
“Throughout this pandemic, doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and countless other healthcare heroes have been dedicated to taking care of our community,” Riggs said. “Now it’s time to take care of them. At Cedars-Sinai we believe the best way to show our appreciation is to get vaccinated. Together, we can end this pandemic.”
Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy Hurdles
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