(Photo by Alexandru Pavalache\EyeEm\Getty Images)
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:
Allegheny Health Network
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
Arizona Medical Association
Ascension St. Vincent's
Baptist Health South Florida
Baylor Scott & White Health
Einstein Healthcare Network
Mass General Brigham
McLaren St. Luke's
Memorial Healthcare System
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
NCH Healthcare System
Nicklaus Children's Health System
NorthShore University HealthSystem
Rush University Medical Center Chicago
Southwestern Health Resources
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the James Cancer Hospital
The Toledo Clinic
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
UC Health (Cincinnati)
University of Chicago Medicine
University of Iowa Health Care
UT Southwestern Medical Center
The University of Toledo Medical Center
Yale New Haven Health
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