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Hesitant About The Vaccine? New Milwaukee Ad Campaign Wants To Convince You Otherwise

An image from a new campaign urging Milwaukeeans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Courtesy of HealthyMKE
An image from a new campaign urging Milwaukeeans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Courtesy of HealthyMKE
Digital ad from the "Authentic Voices" campaign, aimed at encourgaing more people in the Milwaukee-area vaccinated.

A new multi-media ad campaign to convince hesitant people to get their COVID-19 vaccine is coming to Milwaukee County on Monday, April 12.

The campaign, called “Authentic Voices,” will feature Black and Hispanic Milwaukeeans, and those from other vulnerable populations, explaining why they’ve gotten their vaccines.

Mara Lord is chair of the Milwaukee-area vaccine communications and community mobilization efforts. She says they’ve been researching why people are vaccine hesitant, and conducting focus groups.

“Those focus groups told us some really interesting things,” she says. “First, they told us that people want simple information, they want it straight up, and they don't want to be talked down to, they want to hear the facts about the vaccine, so they can make an informed choice."

Lord says people also want to hear from their neighbors, their friends, their family members and their elders, about why they're choosing to get the vaccine and what their experience was with the vaccine.

Lord said the campaign involves relatable stories from community members, including teachers, veterans and small business owners.

Sixty-three-year-old Gwen Washington is one of those featured community members. The mother, churchgoer and organizer was apprehensive about the vaccine, at first. But she had friends and family members get COVID-19 and die.

Washington says as she got more information about the vaccine, she became more receptive.

VisitMKE Vaccine Campaign Video

“The day that I did go get my COVID shot, I felt they were very patient, very kind, very nurturing,” says Washington. “And then they did not pursue, because I am definitely afraid of needles, until I was comfortable. They introduced themselves.”

Washington says the whole part of going through getting a vaccination was a very comfortable experience.

“They also alerted me of potential side effects that might happen so that I feel very informed as to what to look forward to before, during and after the vaccine,” says Washington.

The Authentic Voices campaign is part of a nearly one-million-dollar investment to build vaccine confidence in the Milwaukee area, with funding coming from a variety of civic and community partners.

Organizers also are planning door-to-door canvassing in 15 zip codes, and they’re urging faith and community leaders to spread the word to people they serve.

Maayan is a WUWM news reporter.
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