After initial focus on ‘unsure’ Americans, Fed’s campaign to build trust in the COVID-19 vaccines’ safety will require trusted influencers at local level to sway more narrowly defined groups

December 23, 2020 — CBS News: “The federal official in charge of a $250 million marketing blitz to build trust in the coronavirus vaccines’ safety says the campaign will forego trying to convince so-called ‘anti-vaxxers.’ Instead, it will focus on swaying those who are simply unsure about the new coronavirus inoculations…The administration is right to focus on those who are merely skeptical, said Harvard public health professor Jay Winsten…’You want to go for the low-hanging fruit…Those who are open to vaccination in general, but are currently hesitant about this vaccine,’ said Winsten…’I think a lot of people in that group may be worried about potential side effects and they’re taking a wait-and-see approach, and it’s not that they need further explanation at this point. They need some additional data on the basis of millions of people having taken the vaccine.’…[T]he government is running focus groups geared toward finding spokespeople who are respected within different groups…On the national level, Winsten believes [director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony] Fauci fits the bill ā€” and he is currently appearing in HHS’ [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] digital ad campaign as well as Ad Council promotions, primarily digital and social media video ads ā€” but…Winsten said the more intensive campaign geared toward smaller groups should focus on finding people who are locally influential. ‘People trust their own doctors, their own nurses, their own pastors, their own social networks. That’s very, very different from a distant figure. And these can be local celebrities as well. If you’re in the Boston market, you want Patriots players who have gotten the shot and come from different ethnic and racial backgrounds, who have tremendous followings,’ Winsten said.”
Read the CBS News article by Graham Kates