New initiative seeks to reach people hesitant about COVID vaccine, dispel myths

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HOUSTON (KIAH/NEXSTAR) — As people rush to get vaccinated around the country, there are some who are not so eager.

The Ad Council is joining forces with medical experts and groups like the American Medical Association to educate the public about vaccinations.

The campaign, called “It’s Up To You,” aims to get information about COVID-19 vaccines to people across the country. The campaign reaffirms that while it is understandable to have questions, getting informed about the vaccines is the first step to getting back to the moments and people we miss.

Research shows only 60% of the overall population feels confident they have enough information to guide them in their vaccine decision process. That number drops even more — to 40% — in the Black and Hispanic communities, which are some of the areas hardest-hit by the coronavirus.

Dr. Susan Bailey, president of the American Medical Association, said the goal is to get people to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one becomes available to them.

“There’s no reason to pick and choose or wait,” Bailey said. “We want, when it’s your turn, for you to get the first vaccine that’s available to you.”

Currently available in the U.S. are the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

Experts say much of the hesitancy surrounding coronavirus vaccines comes from myths about them. Here are some vaccination facts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests.
  • People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated.
  • Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19.
  • Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA.

“It’s going to be important for people to understand that there are answers to their questions, that there are people that they can turn to that they trust, messengers that they’re used to hearing from to deliver these messages that the vaccines are safe, they’re effective,” Bailey said.

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