Drive for 75: Resources from Week 8

Regulation | April 23, 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.

This Week’s Highlights:

Volume Twenty: Air Date 4.19.21 “Public Attitudes and Experiences with COVID-19 Vaccines”

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) recently updated its COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, which is an ongoing research project tracking the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations.

The key takeaways from the KFF research to date and available on the COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor Dashboard were:

  • For those who are not ready to get a COVID-19 vaccination right away, the top concern consistently has been the potential side effects, including many who worry they will have to miss work due to side effects. The news about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could heighten those worries for people on the fence about getting vaccinated.
  • Prior to the pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it was an appealing option for a large share of those in the “wait and see” group because it requires only a single shot, while the other available vaccines require two shots several weeks apart.
  • The lack of access to accurate information is an additional concern highlighted in the research. For example, many are concerned that they might get COVID-19 from a vaccine, which is not possible, or that they will have to pay out-of-pocket even though the COVID-19 vaccinations are free.
  • Individual health care providers are the most trusted messengers when it comes to information about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Volume Twenty One: Air Date 4.22.21. “Vaccines and Gen Z”

As we continue to Drive for 75, there is one group that may not be, literally, getting the message and that is Gen Z – young adults between the ages of 18-24. There is very little messaging targeted to them on the media channels they prefer – Tik Tok, Instagram and Snapchat. This lack of information and outreach is concerning. Recent polls suggest that 21% of people this age say they would not get vaccinated and another 34% said they would wait and see -so that’s more than half not ready to be vaccinated.

These young adults need to understand why, if you are a healthy 20 year old, you should get the vaccine. Some young women are concerned about potential effects on fertility and need to be reassured about that (and there is some recent reassuring data - more on that next week). Others feel they are not at high risk, so it is not worth the hassle, despite the fact that there is a current escalation in cases among younger people, including some with severe symptoms and hospitalizations. So, we need to encourage Gen Z influencers on our staffs to be vocal in support of vaccination on the channels their age group likes to use. We also need to minimize the hassle factor and make it easy for young adults to get vaccinated, now that they are eligible.