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"Our best hope": Cleveland Clinic leads group of hospitals in campaign promoting COVID-19 vaccine

The "Get the Vaccine to Save Lives" campaign is designed to help Americans feel safe and confident about receiving a vaccine.

CLEVELAND — Editors Note: The video in the player above is from a previously published story.

Cleveland Clinic has partnered with the Mayo Clinic and more than 50 other hospitals and health care institutions nationwide to encourage Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine. The "Get the Vaccine to Save Lives" campaign is meant to reassure people that the vaccine is safe and effective.

"The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and highly effective and offers our best hope for beating the disease," said Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., Cleveland Clinic's CEO and president. "We all want to see a return to our pre-COVID routines, when we can once again gather safely with family and friends. To reach that goal, we must improve vaccination rates to achieve herd immunity. Please sign up today because we are all in this together."

The campaign hopes to reach adults who are hesitant to receive a vaccine, including racial and minority ethnic groups and people living in rural communities. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey published March 30, 17% of the public say they will take a wait-and-see approach before getting it themselves, and another 20% say they will never get a vaccine or will only get it if required to do so for work, school or other activities. This leaves a significant portion of the population at risk of going unvaccinated.  

University Hospitals, Mercy Health, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The James Cancer Hospital, and The University of Toledo Medical Center are among the other leading U.S. health care institutions thaat have joined the campaign.

"We're asking people to talk to their health care providers if they have questions and then get vaccinated," says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., Mayo Clinic's CEO. "The vaccine is our strongest asset to end the pandemic, and I urge everyone who is eligible to get whichever vaccine you're first offered to save lives.

To achieve herd immunity and help end the pandemic, leading health officials say at least 75% of the population needs to receive a vaccine. Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who have been vaccinated.

You can watch the campaign's public service announcement video below:

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