COVID Collaborative, Ad Council launch vaccine education campaign

A massive public education campaign is underway to convince people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Ad Council, a nonprofit advertising group, is partnering with the COVID Collaborative, a coalition of experts in health, education, and the economy, on the $50 million vaccine education campaign, announced November 23, 2020—one of the largest such efforts in history.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Dean Michelle Williams is a co-founder of the COVID Collaborative. Other Harvard Chan School experts involved in the group include Howard Koh, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership, and Jay Winsten, director of the Initiative on Communication Strategies for Public Health.

With the support of the COVID Collaborative’s diverse advisory group, the vaccine education campaign aims to provide messaging that is both informed by the best science and culturally relevant to the Black and brown communities that have been hardest hit by the virus.

A recent survey conducted by the COVID Collaborative and Hart Research found that while a majority of Americans (86%) believe that a vaccine will be effective in curbing the virus, only about a third say they will get vaccinated themselves. And a new survey, conducted by the COVID Collaborative and its partners the NAACP, UnidosUS, and Langer Research, found that a significant majority of Black and Latinx Americans mistrust the safety and efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine, with only 14% of Black Americans and 34% of Latinx Americans trusting that a vaccine will be safe.

The Ad Council has started to test messaging aimed at addressing vaccine hesitancy, and will roll out public service announcements across all forms of media next year, to coincide with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to the public, according to a November 23, 2020 New York Times article.

In the meantime, the COVID Collaborative has also released a toolkit for improving online education during the pandemic, a toolkit for providing consistent public messaging on masks across the U.S., and other resources to support state and local leaders in protecting people and combating the virus.

Read the New York Times article: Ad Council’s Challenge: Persuade Skeptics to Believe in Covid Vaccines

Read a COVID Collaborative press release: COVID Collaborative Announces Partnership with Ad Council on $50 Million Vaccine Education Campaign