NC officials to launch ‘Bringing Back Summer’ campaign to help increase COVID-19 vaccine rate

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will launch a “Bringing Back Summer” campaign this Sunday to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19

The latest state data shows 50 percent of adults in North Carolina are at least partially vaccinated. Gov. Roy Cooper said the state needs to hit 66 percent before lifting the indoor mask mandate.

“We’re seeing more hesitancy now as the first wave of people have gotten vaccinated,” Cooper said during a trip to Wilmington on Thursday.

State health officials are partnering with 140 organizations to try and reach those who have not yet been vaccinated.

“The focus for us now really isn’t age-wide, it’s those who are hesitant and those who have questions,” said Kelly Wright, of Advanced Community Health, one of the organizations participating in the “Bringing Back Summer” campaign.

Advanced Community Health will focus on convincing people in Knightdale and Southeast Raleigh, two areas with low vaccine rates and higher COVID-19 cases.

“We’re going directly into the communities where we’re giving the vaccines before we show up,” Wright said of how they’ll reach people. “So people will learn about us ahead of time.”

The Autism Society of North Carolina also signed up to join the campaign. Staffers will focus their efforts on education by talking one-on-one with families about the vaccine and holding webinars with experts to answer questions.

Teams from AdhereRX Pharmacy in Cary will vaccinate homebound people across the Triangle.

“They might not be able to make a decision and just go get a vaccine,” said Cornelius Toliver, AdhereRx Pharmacy manager. “They might be deciding on what I want to eat the next day, or do I have clothing for my kids, these types of things. So being able to give that opportunity to actually go to that patient and show them that you care means a lot.”

The Bringing Summer Back Campaign begins May 9 and will last two weeks. State Department of Health and Human Services officials will bring it back again for two weeks in June.

I think we all work together definitely with the same mission and now that we have all three vaccines on the market again, I think we’re very capable of getting there,” Toliver said.

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