Drive for 75: Resources from Week 13

Regulation | May 28, 2021 | by Jill Schumann

LeadingAge Coronavirus Update Calls feature brief segments called “Drive for 75” to promote the successful vaccination of at least 75% of our aging services providers’ workforce, and as needed, residents, by June 30. We will cover developments in the news, research, and innovative practices that support our members in attaining high vaccination rates.

Volume Thirty Four: Air Date 5.24.21. “Who is Holding Us Back from Full Vaccination”

A recent and fascinating New York Times piece, explored the four groups of people holding us back from full vaccination in the US. The Times piece divides people into 5 categories regarding the COVID-19 vaccines: the Enthusiasts, the Watchful, the Cost-Anxious, the System Distrusters, and the COVID Skeptics.

COVID Skeptics are the least likely to get vaccinated. Those in this group have specific, deeply held beliefs about Covid-19 and tend to believe at least one conspiracy theory related to the pandemic. Doctors are only trusted by 50 percent and scientists by 32 percent of this group, so the key to engaging this group is to avoid trying to debunk what they believe, but rather, listen, acknowledge how they feel, and then share the facts. Emphasizing that vaccination is their own, personal choice — one that can help protect friends and family members — might work.

The Cost-Anxious worry about the time and potential expense of getting vaccinated (even if it is actually free). We need to bring vaccines to this group by holding clinics in non-health-care locations that people frequent will be critical — like workplaces, religious venues, day cares, supermarkets, bars and restaurants. The article notes that with this group, leaders should stress that vaccination is free and encourage local businesses to provide paid time off for both doses.

The System Distrusters believe that the health care system doesn't treat them fairly. Formal and informal conversations where people can air concerns is important to system distrusters and leaders need to be transparent about efforts to vaccinate underserved communities. System distrusters have low expectations that others will get vaccinated, so making vaccinations of people they know visible will be important. Highlighting efforts to ensure the vaccine rollout is equitable and sharing that with the community is key.

The Watchful are holding out to see what kind of experience their friends or neighbors have with the vaccine before committing themselves. Encouraging those who are vaccinated to show their vaccination status with pride, both online and offline, may nudge their family, friends and networks to follow. The Watchful are already likely to wear masks (showing an intent to comply with social norms), so they may respond to similar altruistic messages about vaccination and get vaccinated to protect others.

The article has some great graphics and a tool to examine the breakdown of these four kinds of holdouts by state. Just click your state and see what the data shows. This could be helpful to assess where your staff or residents are and provide some insight in how to convince them to get a vaccine.

Volume Thirty Six: Air Date 5.27.21. “Vaccine Month of Action”

In the month leading up to July 4th, the Made to Save coalition and HHS’s We Can Do This campaign are launching a month-long mobilization effort to ensure 70% of adults are at least partially vaccinated by July 4th. Despite vaccination progress, we are still seeing disproportionately lower vaccination rates in communities of color. Reaching 70% and achieving equity in the distribution and uptake of vaccines will require a national effort.

HHS and the Made to Save coalition are seeking partners to help them get adults vaccinated over the next month. The Month of Action campaign kicks off with a Weekend of Action on Saturday and Sunday, June 5-6th. The goal is to leverage collective networks to provide needed vaccine information, increase access, continue shifting the narrative, and ensure an equitable end to this pandemic.

To participate in the Month of Action campaign, sign up here. We will continue to share resources as they are made available during the Month of Action.