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Baker-Polito Administration Launches Vaccine Public Awareness Campaign, New Call Center for Residents 75 and Older

“Trust the Facts, Get the Vax” Features Diverse Group of Doctors; Vaccine Scheduling Line Available Through 2-1-1 For 75+ Residents Who Cannot Use Website.

BOSTON – Press Release – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a new multilingual public awareness campaign, “Trust the Facts. Get the Vax.” The research-driven, $2.5 million campaign promotes the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine and urges residents to get vaccinated when it is their turn, as vaccines continue to be distributed across the Commonwealth. The ads feature a diverse group of medical professionals who highlight the importance of the vaccine and aim to build trust with communities of color and other populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

The Administration today also announced a new call center to help residents 75 and older who are unable to access the vaccine appointment website to schedule vaccine appointments.

Public Awareness Campaign: The new statewide campaign explains how the vaccine works and seeks to build trust around its safety and efficacy with communities of color and other populations. The campaign is grounded in extensive survey research that indicated that these messages are most effectively delivered by medical professionals. TV ads in English and Spanish feature a diverse group of doctors who represent a wide range of races, ethnicities and regions of Massachusetts. Additional animated ads will run on TV and digital platforms in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Cape Verdean, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Chinese (Traditional & Simplified), Russian, Arabic and Albanian.

The first TV ad will run locally on Sunday, February 7, 2021, during the Super Bowl Kick-Off show. Throughout the next several weeks, the multilingual public awareness effort will be visible on a variety of additional platforms in several languages, including English, Spanish and Portuguese radio, paid social media and search ads in all languages, streaming services, and print advertising in English and Spanish outlets. A companion video in American Sign Language (ASL) is also launching today. Click here to see all campaign materials.

To develop the campaign, the Commonwealth relied on insights from a 1,000 person survey of Massachusetts residents that identified motivators and barriers around the vaccine, as well as the most effective messages and trusted voices. The Administration also consulted a 19-member external advisory group including community organizations, leaders from communities of color, health care providers, and local health officials.

Additional elements of the campaign will launch throughout the vaccine distribution process. The campaign will continue to direct residents to www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine, where residents can learn more about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and when and where they will be able to get vaccinated.

Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line: Today, the Administration also announced a new call center to help residents 75 and older more easily schedule an appointment if they do not have internet or are unable to use the website at www.mass.gov/COVIDVaccine. The COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line is a dedicated telephone line available to residents 75 and older. The call center will be staffed with over 500 representatives who can provide live phone support to assist residents with booking an appointment. The line will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM. Live call center workers will be available in English and Spanish, and 100 additional languages will be available through translators. Call center workers will have the same access to appointments that users will see on the public website.

The line can be accessed by dialing 2–1–1 and selecting the prompt for “Help Scheduling a Vaccine Appointment.” Residents may have to wait on the line given expected high call volume. Once connected with a representative, the caller will be asked to confirm he/she is 75 or older and either has no internet access or otherwise cannot use the website to book an appointment. Call-takers will then use the state’s COVID-19 vaccine site map to find nearby locations and determine whether appointments are available. If no appointments are available within a distance the caller can travel, then callers will be offered the chance to be placed on a call-back list for the mass vaccination sites. Residents will receive a call-back as appointments become available at these sites. Due to high demand and limited supply, callers may experience significant wait times. The Administration will monitor wait times and make necessary adjustments.

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