Time To Get Excited About The New (Vaccine) Season…

By Dennis Archambault

“We may have moved on, but COVID-19 has not.”

That’s the main point of a Wayne County advertising campaign that was developed to encourage people to get boosted. Authority Health has partnered with Wayne County to address vaccine hesitancy in several cities through community outreach and education.

In marketing terminology, this is the time to build excitement around the new COVID vaccine – and the companion vaccines for RSV vaccine and the traditional flu shot. Talk about a hard sell – getting accustomed to the annual flu shot is one thing. But now three?… Well, these are different times.

“Covid-19 continues to pose a health threat, especially to older Americans,” wrote Dr. Mandy K. Cohen, director of the Centers for Disease Control in a commentary published by the New York Times.  “From January to July 2023, 88 percent of deaths from Covid-19 were among people who were age 65 years or older. Those with certain underlying health conditions — approximately 70 percent of American adults — and weakened immune systems also are at greater risk than younger, healthier Americans.

“What’s more, anyone who gets infected with Covid can develop long Covid, and I don’t want any American to experience that if it can be avoided. People with long Covid can have many ongoing symptoms — like extreme tiredness, shortness of breath and headache — that diminish their quality of life. So far, studies have found that the people who may be more likely than others to get long Covid were unvaccinated against the virus, got severely ill from Covid (though even mild cases can also lead to longer-term symptoms) or had underlying health conditions.”

Having pulled out my COVID mask for a recent air flight, admittedly it’s not comfortable and brings back bad memories. But COVID never left. 270 million Americans got vaccinated, preventing death and hospitalizations. Medical treatment has helped countless others who experienced minor cases of the disease. We may have moved on, but COVID-19 has not.

As fall settles in and the new COVID vaccine becomes available, health advocates need to spread the word that it’s a new season and to get excited about the opportunity to get the new COVID vaccine when it’s available. It may not have quite the same allure as the new football season or academic year, but it’s better than dread.

The Wayne County ad is simple, clear, and to the point:

“We may have moved on, but COVID-19 has not. 

“That means we need to protect ourselves, so we can protect the ones we love– and keep enjoying what matters most.

“Get vaccinated.

“Get boosted.

“Stay up to date.

“Find out more at 866-610-38-85, that’s 866-610-38-85, or waynecounty.com slash Covid 19.”

Dennis Archambault is vice president of Public Affairs for Authority Health.