US turns to social media influencers to boost vaccine rates

US turns to social media influencers to boost vaccine rates
Source: Getty Images
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: Several US states and communities are trying to involve social media influencers in an attempt to boost vaccine rates. Carlos Cornejo, a police sergeant in a rural town, is not the prototypical social media influencer. But his Spanish-language Facebook page with 650,000 followers was exactly what leaders of the US state of Colorado were looking for as they recruited residents to try to persuade the most vaccine-hesitant.

The 32-year-old is one of dozens of influencers, ranging from fashion bloggers and busy moms to religious leaders and African refugee advocates, getting paid by the state to post vaccine information on a local level in hopes of stunting a troubling summer surge of coronavirus infections.

Colorado’s #PowertheComeback target audience is especially tailored to Native American, Asian, Latino, Black and other communities of color that historically have been underserved when it comes to health care and are the focus of different agencies trying to increase vaccination rates.

It’s part of a growing US state- and city-based movement trying to involve local social media influencers to reach the most vaccine-hesitant at a neighborhood level.

Health authorities in Chicago, California, Oklahoma City, San Jose, New Jersey and elsewhere are running similar campaigns.

The effort comes after Colorado and other states have tried college scholarships, lotteries and other incentives to boost slumping vaccination rates as the highly contagious delta virus variant sweeps the nation.

The Facebook page of Carlos Cornejo has become a widely trusted source of information about what the police do — and can’t do — for Latinos in the Colorado River Valley.

You may read: Covid vaccine to be required for military under new US plan