HHS Launches Network of Leaders and Organizations to Encourage COVID-19 Vaccinations

July 23, 2021 by Alec Stone MA, MPA, Former ONS Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy

As of July 2021, more than 159 million individuals (https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/01/28/960901166/how-is-the-covid-19-vaccination-campaign-going-in-your-state) in the United States have been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 coronavirus, totaling about 48.1% of the U.S. population. However, approximately 173 million (https://www.census.gov/popclock/) others have not, or suggested they will not, receive the vaccination. President Biden’s goal (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/05/04/fact-sheet-president-biden-to-announce-goal-to-administer-at-least-one-vaccine-shot-to-70-of-the-u-s-adult-population-by-july-4th/) of having 70% of Americans receive at least one vaccine dose and 160 million adults to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 4, 2021, fell short.

To flatten the curve, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (https://www.hhs.gov/) (HHS) launched a new public education campaign (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2021/04/01/hhs-launches-nationwide-network-trusted-voices-encourage-vaccination-next-phase-covid-19-public-education-campaign.html?utm_campaign=enews20210401&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery) encouraging people to get vaccinated. Called the COVID-19 Community Corps (https://wecandothis.hhs.gov/covidcommunitycorps), the campaign uses a network of local voices and trusted community leaders to provide resources and fact-based public health information, including weekly scientific and medical updates, infographics, fact sheets, and tools to help register (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/How-Do-I-Get-a-COVID-19-Vaccine.html) for a vaccine appointment. Community Corps is a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With the slogan “We Can Do This,” HHS says the department remains hopeful (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2021/04/01/hhs-launches-nationwide-network-trusted-voices-encourage-vaccination-next-phase-covid-19-public-education-campaign.html?utm_campaign=enews20210401&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery) that Americans can all do their part to end the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic by getting vaccinated. The administration acknowledges that nurses and other trusted healthcare professionals can make a big difference in educating the public on the safety of vaccinations, and that vaccinations are the best way to change the dynamic in the spread against continued infections.

As the country makes the slow return to normalcy, the healthcare industry remains vigilant in creating a safe atmosphere (https://www.ons.org/oncology-staff-assignments-covid-19) for all healthcare staff and patients, including those more at risk (https://voice.ons.org/news-and-views/covid-19s-implications-for-people-with-cancer-and-oncology-nurses) for contracting COVID-19 (https://www.ons.org/coronavirus) than others, such as patients with cancer. Learn more about how COVID-19 affects patients with cancer, and access resources (https://www.ons.org/covid-19-advocacy) on how COVID-19 has changed policies on public safety (https://www.ons.org/covid-19-interim-guidelines).

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