HARRISBURG, PA — PA Health & Wellness and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have launched a PSA campaign to educate people across the U.S. about the safety and importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, with a particular focus on communities of color.
As part of the Centene family, PA Health & Wellness is engaging Pennsylvanians to encourage them to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when available and help prevent the spread of the virus with a 15-second PSA from Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, which can be viewed here. A 30-second version can also be seen here. Bettis primarily played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL and was a six-time Pro Bowler.
Multiple surveys initially indicated high rates of “vaccine hesitancy” within the African American community and other communities of color, though, those numbers have improved. Access issues, however, remain, and recent data show Black populations make up only 9% of those who had been vaccinated despite constituting 13% of the population and accounting for 15% of all COVID-19 deaths.
In addition to the PSA, which will run on digital platforms, PA Health & Wellness Interim Medical Director, Dr. Venkateswara R. Davuluri is sharing general information about the vaccine, its safety and efficacy, and other details.
“Uncertainty around the COVID-19 vaccine could lead some people to delay getting the shot, but getting vaccinated is the key to being able to return to many of the things we care about most, especially safely spending time with family and friends,” Davuluri said. “Through this campaign, we want to empower people to actively contribute to their health and wellbeing by informing them about the benefits of the vaccine.”
The PSA campaign launched nationally with PSAs from Hall of Famers ANTHONY MUÑOZ (in English and Spanish), DARRELL GREEN, AENEAS WILLIAMS, and DREW PEARSON; LISA SALTERS, a Hall of Fame Selector and TV broadcaster; and, friends of the Hall DAWN STALEY, a three-time Olympic gold medal winner and coach of the 2017 national champion University of South Carolina women’s basketball team, and IMAN MCFARLAND, Chief Operating Officer for 21st Century Expo Group and an ambassador for the Hall’s and Centene’s joint “Strong Youth Strong Communities” programming.
The PSAs are designed to build confidence around the vaccine and encourage people to get vaccinated. The messaging not only focuses on the vaccine as a means of protecting yourself, but also to stop the spread of the virus to family and friends. In the PSAs, the Hall of Famers talk about the people in their lives who are counting on them to get the vaccine to stay healthy.
“As we’ve seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re a team and need to work together to stop the virus from spreading,” said David Baker, President and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “We recognize there are a lot of questions out there about the vaccine, so we want to make sure we’re reaching as many people as possible. We thank Jerome for encouraging everyone to get vaccinated for the sake of their loved ones.”
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is Centene’s Official Youth Wellness Partner. Through the “Strong Youth Strong Communities” program the last four years, Hall of Famers have discussed important issues with youth, including mental health, suicide and bullying. During the COVID-19 pandemic, “virtual” Youth Summits have been held in a number of states on these topics. For its work on these issues, the Hall of Fame was the recipient of the 2019 Booker T. Washington award from the National Minority Quality Forum for its commitment to advancing health equity.
Below are some of the insights and information being shared by Davuluri to educate communities and address any uncertainty about the COVID-19 vaccine:
- The COVID-19 vaccine provides the best chance for individuals to protect themselves and their families from getting COVID-19 in the future. They are highly effective, especially at preventing severe illness and hospitalization related to COVID-19.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh the potential risks.
- Some individuals may run a fever after getting the vaccine, as well as experiencing chills, muscle aches, headache and fatigue. This is normal, as their body builds immunity and fights off future COVID-19 exposures.
For more information about PA Health & Wellness and its healthcare support services, visit www.pahealthwellness.com.
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