Boost Up/Stay Well Campaign

L.A. Focus’ “Shot of Faith” campaigns phase one through three—partnered with the California Department of Public Health— were a clear example of the effectiveness and success of the collaboration between the faith community and social and government agencies given the unique position of faith leaders in the African American community as trusted messengers and the church’s role of first responder in its provision of resources, engagement and dissemination of critical information. Launched in March, 2021 in partnership with L.A. Grant Communications, A Shot of Faith engaged the state’s Black Faith community in the ongoing campaign to vaccinate African Americans at high risk for COVID-19 via a series of webinars for faith leaders and virtual townhalls for over 17,000 congregants in the following four areas: Northern California, Los Angeles County, the Inland Empire and San Diego. Medical experts were able to attack head on some of the misinformation that has been circulating on the internet and in the communities that has been fueling a great deal of the skepticism and hesitancy. Phase 2 took a more directed approach, keying in on zip codes—provided by the state—where vaccination rates were low. And with the explosion of Omicron, Phase 3 built on the successes of phases 1 and 2, complementing a smaller number of town halls with events, vaccination pop-ups, video and social media messaging. Less than 4% of eligible people have received updated COVID booster shots according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts believe that a lack of public awareness about the shots or the prevailing narrative that the pandemic is ending might have hindered the vaccine rollout. To that end, the Boost Up/Stay Well campaign is intended to provide a convenient and seamless means of getting an updated booster and perhaps even a flu shot as evidence indicates that the U.S. is on course for a surge of COVID-19 cases this fall and winter along with We are in a different phase of this pandemic. We observed in real time a decoupling of cases of severe disease. There are still in my mind far too many Americans that are dying of COVID, partially due to low vaccine, low booster uptake,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “I don’t necessarily know which infectious or noninfectious threat will be the one that comes knocking on our door and that it’s so critically important that we have a robust public health and health care infrastructure working in partnership to address whatever may come next,” she said.

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