Wisconsin re-launching vaccine awareness campaign

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin is re-launching a multimedia public awareness campaign to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations as progress has stalled on getting people inoculated.

State health officials announced Tuesday that the “You Stop the Spread” campaign will ramp up with more ads on television, radio, billboards, transit, newspapers and social media platforms.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported that some ads will feature leaders of groups that in April received $6.2 million in grants to boost vaccinations among marginalized or underserved populations. Julie Willems Van Dijk, the deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said the ads will also address myths about the vaccines, such as that they alter people’s DNA, cause infertility or make people get COVID-19.

Racial and geographic disparities in COVID-19 vaccination persist, with the statewide rate about 45% lower among Blacks than whites.

In addition to the multimedia campaign, the state health department is working with medical providers, community groups and health departments to keep providing a variety of immunization opportunities, Willems Van Dijk said.

Thirteen states reportedly have already reached President Joe Biden’s goal of 70%, but Wisconsin likely won’t get there until mid-July, Willems Van Dijk said.