Hospitals and health systems made great strides in leading and engaging their communities through the teeth of the first wave of the pandemic, and establishing themselves as the credible source of information and resources, communities, who responded positively for the most part.
Once the first wave passed, most healthcare organizations moved away from the pandemic messaging and quickly reverted to pre-pandemic marketing efforts. It was too soon to completely drop the pandemic community leadership and patient messaging activities, as I have written before.
Now with SARS-CoV-2 infection rates skyrocketing daily across the country, thousands of deaths per day, and hospitals at or near ICU capacity, and canceling elective surgeries, hospitals have a high stake in the success of the vaccination efforts now underway.
As reported in The Hill, "About half of Americans willing to receive COVID-19 vaccine, AP poll finds" only 47 percent of the American public state they will get vaccinated for COVID-19. A more optimistic poll by Gallup on December 8 reported in The Hill, "Willingness to get COVID-19 vaccine up 13 points since September," found that 63 percent would get vaccinated. For the sake of discussion, let's split the difference then and assume that at least 50 percent of the US public will get vaccinated.
The surveys indicate that willingness to get vaccinated rates are not high enough to achieve the promised land of community herd immunity and some semblance of normalcy.
With the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine receiving FDA emergency use approval, and the vaccine shipping on Sunday, December 13, it's time for hospitals and health systems to get off the fence.
There is so much false and misleading information, the hospital needs to reestablish itself and the credible source of information and lead patients and the community to get vaccinated.
It is not the time to say the government or others have the responsibility on our behalf to step-up with informational vaccination campaigns.
Your patients and community need a credible, trusted source of information about vaccination and education on the need to vaccinate.
|Image by PDPics from Pixabay|
Because the public has an apprehension and fear of the unknown, much of that is because of false facts, historical mistrust of government, foreign misinformation campaigns, anti-science lying political leaders, and the anti-vaccination people. I also understand that some individuals, for medical reasons, may not be able to either.
We all want some semblance of normalcy in our lives after the last year. The healthcare industry that responded in unprecedented ways with speed, new efficiencies, and change to combat the pandemic's first wave needs a return to some normalcy.
You have a significant stake in the success of the vaccination, the effort to get to herd immunity, and a normal return.
Be the credible source of vaccination information and community leader again and bring this pandemic to a swift end.