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Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic lead pro-COVID-19 vaccine coalition 

The U.S. is reaching a tipping point where supply of the vaccine may soon outstrip demand.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

(Photo by Alexandru Pavalache\EyeEm\Getty Images)(Photo by Alexandru Pavalache\EyeEm\Getty Images)

The Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic are leading a coalition of 60 hospitals and healthcare institutions in a nationwide campaign to encourage adults to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Get the Vaccine to Save Lives is designed to reassure the public that vaccines are safe, effective and necessary to achieve herd immunity and return to normal, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

"The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and highly effective and offers our best hope for beating the disease," said Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, Cleveland Clinic's CEO and president. 

Mayo Clinic's President and CEO Dr. Gianrico Farrugia said, "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."

To achieve herd immunity, at least 75% of the population needs to receive a vaccine. That number is currently at 50%. As of April 18, half the population age 18 and older has received at least one vaccine dose in the U.S., according to the COVID Data Tracker of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The campaign's goal is to reach adults who are hesitant to receive a vaccine, including racial and minority ethnic groups and people living in rural communities.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The United States is reaching a tipping point within two to four weeks in which supply of the vaccine may outstrip demand, according to an April 20 Kaiser Family Foundation report. As of March 21, 61% of adults wanted to get vaccinated as soon as they could. That's up from 55% the month before. 

But a KFF survey published March 30 found that 17% of the public said they would take a wait-and-see approach before getting vaccinated. Another 20% said they would never get a vaccine or would only get it if required to do so for work, school or other activities. This leaves a significant portion of the population at risk of going unvaccinated, the Cleveland Clinic said.

Vaccine hesitancy rates dropped between last fall and March. However, recent reports of blood clot issues with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine caused a pause in its administration, which has not eased vaccine hesitancy fears.

"We're asking people to talk to their healthcare providers if they have questions and then get vaccinated," Farrugia said.

THE LARGER TREND

Hospitals have suffered financially during the pandemic and clinicians have suffered burnout from coronavirus surges.

In addition to Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, 58 other U.S. healthcare institutions have joined the campaign, including:

AdventHealth
Adventist Health
Allegheny Health Network
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
Arizona Medical Association
Ascension St. Vincent's
Atrium Health
Banner Health
Baptist Health South Florida
Baylor Scott & White Health
Beaumont Health
BJC HealthCare
Brooks Rehabilitation
Broward Health
Centura Health
Einstein Healthcare Network
Emory Healthcare
Essentia Health
Hackensack Meridian
HonorHealth
Intermountain Healthcare    
Lee Health
Mass General Brigham
McLaren St. Luke's
MedStar Health 
Memorial Healthcare System
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Mercy Health
Michigan Medicine
Monument Health
NCH Healthcare System
Nicklaus Children's Health System
NorthShore University HealthSystem
Northwestern Medicine
Norton Healthcare
PeaceHealth
Piedmont Healthcare
ProMedica
Renown Health
Rush University Medical Center Chicago
Southwestern Health Resources
Spectrum Health
Summit Health
Texas Health          
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the James Cancer Hospital
The Toledo Clinic
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
ThedaCare
UC Health (Cincinnati)
UNC Health
University Hospitals
University of Chicago Medicine
University of Iowa Health Care
UT Southwestern Medical Center
The University of Toledo Medical Center
Virtua Health
WellSpan Health
Yale New Haven Health
 

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com