Drive for 75: Week 12 Resources

Regulation | May 21, 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 One: Air Date 5.17.21. “Benefits of Being Vaccinated”

Experts at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, outlined five major benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine:

  1. You can attend events in person (now in small groups with other vaccinated people and in larger groups when a higher percentage of people are vaccinated).
  2. You can travel without quarantining both domestically and internationally. Mask wearing is still recommended.
  3. You can reconnect with loved ones and co-workers. Relationships are edging back to in-person.
  4. You could see immediate health benefits. Vaccines are extremely effective and can not only decrease the risk of hospitalization and death, but also of contracting COVID-19. And, the faster people are immunized, the less chance of continually mutating variants.
  5. Long-term benefits. We are only beginning to learn what the long-term effects of contracting COVID-19 may be, even for those who have mild or moderate cases. We know from diseases like chicken pox that can result in shingles, that often diseases have delayed as well as long-term consequences.

So we are Driving for 75!

Volume Thirty Two: Air Date 5.19.21. “Barriers to Vaccination”
There has been significant focus on people who are opposed to getting the vaccine or are not yet trusting of the vaccines. However, there is another group of unvaccinated people who want the vaccine, but face barriers to receiving it. According to recent numbers, 30 million Americans are open to receiving the vaccine but have not yet done so for a variety of reasons. Often these are people whose work and family obligations make it very difficult to get to vaccination sites when they are open. Some have health issues or disabilities or face language barriers that can make getting inoculated against Covid-19 seem daunting. Others do not have a regular doctor, and some are socially isolated, including homebound older adults.

Even now, as vaccines have become more readily available, the gap in vaccination rates is growing between counties that rank high on the CDCs index of social vulnerability and those that are less vulnerable. Among Americans willing to be vaccinated, the higher a person’s income, the more likely they are to actually be vaccinated.

To make vaccines more accessible to the range of people who face logistical barriers, new efforts are underway to take vaccines to where people are. Churches, stores, parking lots, mobile clinics, and home visits are just a few of the places now offering vaccines. We should be thinking not only about how we can be agents of vaccinating staff and residents/ clients, but also of ways in which we can be agents of making vaccines accessible to the broader population. Aging services providers are key players in the wider community.

Volume Thirty Three: Air Date 5.20.21. “Artificial Intelligence Marketing to Address Hesitancy”

Today we’ll consider how the use of artificial intelligence is being used to target specific vaccine messaging directly to address individual’s concerns about the vaccine.

This week, UNTU, a healthcare media, data, and technology company (untu.us), announced it has developed sophisticated modeling and messages to reach and persuade Americans who are hesitant about receiving the coronavirus vaccine. In developing its models, UNTU discovered that a person's news consumption habits are a good predictor of vaccine hesitancy with those receiving their news primarily online being far more likely to resist vaccination.

The company has conducted extensive research into the specific messages and messengers that can effectively persuade reluctant adults to become vaccinated. We have been hearing over and over that people are individuals and no one way of approaching the issue is likely to work for everyone, so this company is using complex technology to try to match the right message to the right person in much the same way that online ads are micro-targeted. Among those who initially said they were "somewhat likely" or "somewhat unlikely" to get the vaccine, 38% of them changed their minds to “definitely yes” after exposure to UNTU's tested messages.

UNTU's audience modeling is made possible through the creation of the UNTU Health Cloud, a category-defining insights panel that uses AI-driven modeling and precision scaling to enable the creation of privacy-first, ultra-targeted audiences. So, the same sorts of marketing techniques that are ubiquitous online, are being harnessed to address vaccine hesitancy.