Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic lead hospitals pushing for COVID-19 vaccination

Led by Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic, a coalition of 60 healthcare systems launched a nationwide campaign Tuesday to promote COVID-19 vaccination.

The “Get the Vaccine to Save Lives” campaign is designed to reassure people that vaccines are safe and effective, according to a news release.

“We’re asking people to talk to their healthcare providers if they have questions and then get vaccinated,” Mayo Clinic President and CEO Dr. Gianrico Farrugia said in a statement. “The vaccine is our strongest asset to end the pandemic, and I urge everyone who is eligible to get whichever vaccine you’re first offered to save lives.”

As of Monday, all adults in the U.S. are eligible to receive a vaccine and 50.7% had received at least one dose and 33% had received both doses, according to the CDC.

But a recent survey by Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that 20% of respondents will not get a vaccine or will only get a vaccine if it’s required for work, school or another activity; and 17% will take a “wait-and-see approach.”

Through the campaign, the health systems hope to change the minds of those who are hesitant to get the vaccine, including racial and ethnic minority groups and those living in rural areas, according to a news release.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and highly effective and offers our best hope for beating the disease,” Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Dr. Tom Mihaljevic said in a statement. “We all want to see a return to our pre-COVID routines, when we can once again gather safely with family and friends. To reach that goal, we must improve vaccination rates to achieve herd immunity. Please sign up today because we are all in this together.”

Health officials say at least 75% of the population needs to receive a vaccine for the country to achieve herd immunity.

The campaign, which includes print and digital advertising, media outreach, social media, an awareness video and an informational website, comes a few weeks after Houston Methodist announced that it would mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for its workers.

At the time, Houston Methodist President and CEO Dr. Marc Boom said mandatory vaccination was a way for the health system to “lead by example.”

“When we choose to be vaccinated against COVID-19 we are prioritizing safety by helping stop the spread of this deadly virus and keeping our patients, visitors and colleagues safe,” Boom said in an email to managers.

At Houston Methodist, managers had until April 15 to get at least the first dose of the vaccine.

While healthcare providers have administered vaccines to their staffs for months, most haven’t mandated employee vaccination.


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