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The Detroit News: Business Must Back Massive Vaccination Campaign

Dec. 19, 2020

The Detroit News

A COVID-19 vaccine will only lead us out of this devastating pandemic if a broad majority of Americans get vaccinated. That’s an obvious observation, but also cause for serious alarm.

The miracle of the fast-track development of what now appears to be multiple vaccines will be squandered if public acceptance doesn’t rapidly increase.

A Detroit Regional Chamber poll released last week should be a large red flag — just 52% of Michigan residents say they will get inoculated.

That’s a shockingly low percentage considering how much COVID-19 has impacted our lives these past 10 months, and how many lives it has cost.

More: Michigan voters back virus vaccinations, Whitmer pandemic measures, poll finds

Apparently, developing the vaccines was just half the battle. Now, an equally herculean effort must be launched to convince Americans to take it.

Government certainly should make a big push to convince its citizens to set aside their fears and superstitions and line up to be vaccinated when their time comes.

But this is also a mission for the business community. Few industries have been untouched by the pandemic. Many businesses have endured costly shutdowns, seen their workers infected and their supply chains interrupted.

Restoring a normal business environment will depend on stopping the spread of the virus among workforces and customers.

What’s needed now is a massive, multi-level campaign to assure the vaccination rate meets the 70% level health experts say is necessary to achieve herd immunity, and gets to that point as quickly as vaccine production allows.

Public service announcements are just the start. The more skeptical will need personal contact. Others will need transportation and other assistance in getting the vaccine. Paying hold-outs to be vaccinated shouldn’t be off the table.

The mission should be to make getting vaccinated an act of civic duty.

Help people see this is not just about protecting themselves. It’s also about protecting family friends and neighbors. And about restoring jobs and economic prosperity for everyone.

Too much has been sacrificed already to this pandemic to allow it to escape defeat because of ignorance and irrational fears.

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