CareFirst (Courtesy Image/Logo)

By AFRO Staff

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield recently launched a wide-ranging campaign to help educate and encourage people living throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia about the importance of everyone taking the COVID-19 vaccine when they are eligible. The multi-faceted campaign will encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 when they can to support the vaccination rates required to end the pandemic.

“We recognize people in the community may have questions or even doubts about vaccines. It’s important we help as many people as we can understand how these vaccines work and that they’re a necessary, safe, and effective tool to protect people as we work together to stop this pandemic,” said Brian D. Pieninck, President and CEO of CareFirst. “Our goal is to provide useful information, that’s reliable and easy to understand, so that everyone makes this important decision to safeguard their health as well as the health of the people they know and love. Sometimes it can be hard to see the important role each of us plays in supporting public health. We plan to make clear how each of us can do our part. As we continue to encourage behaviors like wearing a mask, washing hands, and social distancing, we will take the next and most important step yet. Our “Better Together” campaign will support a historic national vaccination initiative, helping to ensure we’re all ready to roll up our sleeves and get the shot when it’s our turn.”

Over the next several months, CareFirst will expand its ongoing collaboration with public health officials and community leaders to support coordinated vaccine communications and distribution processes. These efforts will include online forums and educational opportunities with medical experts and influential community spokespeople targeting populations and locations most in need and the customers we serve. 

“It is important that the allocation and distribution of vaccines are equitable and prioritize communities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, including front-line workers, the elderly, people of color and other vulnerable populations,” said Destiny Simone-Ramjohn, Vice President of Community Health and Social Impact. “To reach target vaccination rates, the work must start now with authentic community engagement and trusted partners at the neighborhood and grassroots-level before a transition to mobilization tactics as the rollout plans broaden eligibility for the vaccine.”

To ensure members and the general public understand how the vaccines work, the differences in the vaccines currently authorized for use by the FDA, and information on scams circulating about the vaccines the CareFirst COVID-19 resource center continues to expand and evolve. 

“As a neighbor and leading regional employer, we’ve been laser-focused on supporting our members, employees, businesses and partners impacted by the COVID-19 virus and planning for what comes next,” said Pieninck. “The work of this campaign and with our partners will be critical to influencing everyone to do their part. Our community health depends on each of us stepping up and getting vaccinated when we can. The best way for all of us to get better, is to do it together.”