Cook County leaders gathered on September 20 to encourage residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to announce the launch of a new COVID-19 vaccine ad campaign, targeted at reaching the vaccine hesitant and built on the message of trust.
“We need all of our residents to step up and get vaccinated,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “Vaccination is the only way for us to stamp out this virus and protect those around us who are the most at-risk, including those with chronic health conditions and kids who are too young to get vaccinated.”
While more than 60 percent of suburban Cook County residents have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, much work remains to get as many individuals vaccinated as possible.
“While historical inequities have led to mistrust in medical institutions, Cook County Health physicians and staff have worked hard to develop relationships with the patients they care for,” said Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha.
“I hope the trust we have earned and our expertise will drown out the misinformation online and on social media that is confusing people. The vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness and death,” said Dr. Claudia Fegan, Chief Medical Officer, Cook County Health. “If you have been waiting to see how the vaccines play out, the wait is over. The time to get vaccinated is now.”
Vaccinated people make up less than 1 percent of our nation’s COVID-19 deaths. The overwhelming majority of people in Cook County Health’s COVID-19 units are unvaccinated.
This month, Cook County Health launched new ad creative centered around the trust that people have in their doctors. The theme of trust runs through multilingual campaign materials, including television and print ads and social media ads. Visit MyShotCookCounty.com/TrustUs for more on the campaign. Three TV spots are currently running (click to view spot 1, spot 2, spot 3).
Look for the commercials across TV channels and streaming platforms including ABC, NBC, CBS, WGN, FOX, ME-TV, Univision, Telemundo, Hulu, Canela, Crossings and YouTube, as well as in print and digital ads.
Along with the new ad campaign, Cook County officials discussed hyperlocal efforts to reach residents and a partnership with WGCI radio to award $1,000 to 10 residents who are vaccinated. Any resident who uploads a picture of themselves getting vaccinated — but NOT their vaccination card — to wgci.com/lifeisbetter is automatically entered. One weekly winner will be chosen for 10 consecutive weeks.
“We want to reward the people who are making the decision to get vaccinated. They are making the choice to protect not only themselves, but all of us, as we work towards escaping this pandemic,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin, Cook County Department of Public Health co-lead.
Dr. Gregory Huhn, Cook County Health vaccine coordinator, provided an update on vaccine boosters. Immunocompromised individuals who have received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna are currently eligible for a third dose. The FDA is expected to release an updated Emergency Use Authorization to allow for individuals who are 65 or older or have a preexisting medical condition that puts them at-risk for severe disease in coming days.
He also discussed Pfizer’s recent announcement that its vaccine is safe and effective for 5- to 11-year-olds.
“Their study results appear extremely promising and show that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and produces adequate antibodies that are expected to protect younger children,” Dr. Huhn said.
FDA approval for vaccinating children age 5 to 11 could come as soon as next month.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccines or where to get a shot, visit MyShotCookCounty.com.