Illinois Launches ‘On the Fence’ Campaign to Encourage Vaccinations

CHICAGO — With the current surge of COVID-19 cases due to the highly contagious Omicron variant, the State of Illinois launched a new vaccine awareness campaign to explain the power of the life-saving vaccine. The ‘On the Fence’ campaign features 18 meaningful stories from Illinoisans who were initially hesitant but are now fully vaccinated.

As health experts continue to advise unvaccinated individuals to get their life-saving shot, the campaign is directed to residents who are reluctant to get vaccinated. The campaign will roll out over the coming months, including stories from people who reflect the racial and socioeconomic diversity of the state.

“We are on the eve of the third year of this pandemic, but we have the tools to get through this, and I encourage everyone on the fence to get vaccinated,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Reaching out to a relative, a coworker or a neighbor who is hesitant about getting the vaccine with kindness and compassion will help keep us all safe. Where we go next as a state is a matter of all of us pitching in. I urge everyone to get vaccinated, get boosted, and do their part.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recognizes that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine strategy is a critical component to reduce COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the unvaccinated are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who have been vaccinated and boosted.

“We understand there are still people who have concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines, and I urge them to talk with a health care provider as well as others who have been vaccinated,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “Safe and effective vaccines have been used for more than a year now, longer if you include the clinical trials, and they have good safety and effectiveness records. People receiving the COVID-19 vaccines are experiencing significantly reduced rates of hospitalization and death. They are recommended for everyone 5 years and older.”

The initial rollout of the campaign will feature the following videos:

The campaign will reach Illinoisans in every corner of the state in both English and Spanish through a variety of traditional and online media channels, including cable, broadcast and connected TV; streaming audio and radio; billboards and bus shelters; digital display and video; print and social media. Similar to other coronavirus-related expenses, costs are reimbursable by the federal government.

The ‘On the Fence’ campaign is part of the state’s larger ‘All in Illinois’ effort, backed by doctors and public health experts, encouraging Illinoisans to protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19 by getting vaccinated and boosted.

Vaccination remains key to ending this pandemic. To find COVID-19 vaccine location near you, visit vaccines.gov or call 1-800-232-0233.

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