A new campaign has launched to help boost vaccine rates and confidence in the Finger Lakes region.
It’s called "You Deserve Answers" and features local experts answering questions from real people about COVID-19 and the vaccine. Marketing firm Truth Collective partnered with the Finger Lakes Vaccine Hub and Task Force, Causewave Community Partners and Common Ground Health for the campaign.
To better understand the concerns of Black, Hispanic and rural residents, the group conducted a series of interviews and focus groups and used the information to develop the campaign.
Todd Butler, president and CEO of Causewave, said the campaign is meant to resonate with people who have concerns regarding the vaccine.
“We’re not interested in wagging our finger at people and saying, ‘Get the vaccine,'" Butler said. "But making sure that they understand that their questions are appropriate and respected and we want to get them answers.”
Local resident Rose Tomlinson is featured in a campaign video. Tomlinson was hesitant to get vaccinated, but her discussions with medical professionals at Common Ground Health helped her make an informed decision.
“If you have questions, just know that questions are good,'' Tomlinson said.. “There are places where you can find answers to those questions.”
She said people who are on the fence about the vaccine should do their own research and talk to vaccinated people about their experience.
The campaign is made possible through contributions from the Community Crisis Fund. This week’s launch is timely as concerns over the delta variant continue to grow.
Butler says their original goal was to reach herd immunity with 70% of the region's population vaccinated, but the delta variant has changed their expectations.
“At some point, we probably would have been happy at 70 or 75%," Butler said. "We now think we need to be higher than that in order to get to this herd immunity stage.”
He said they hope to counter misinformation by making credible facts accessible on their website at getyouranswers.org.