Biden launches community corps to boost COVID vaccinations

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The Biden administration is unveiling a coalition of community, religious and celebrity partners to promote COVID-19 shots as it seeks to overcome vaccine hesitancy

WASHINGTON — Seeking to overcome vaccine hesitancy, the Biden administration is unveiling a coalition of community, religious and celebrity partners to promote COVID-19 shots.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy will meet with the more than 275 inaugural members of the community corps on Thursday to kick off the effort.

Courtney Rowe, the White House’s COVID-19 director of strategic communications and engagement, briefed governors on the new initiative Tuesday, telling them that people “want to hear from those they know and trust.” She added that the initiative would be “empowering the leaders people want to hear from.”

The Department of Health and Human Services was also launching its first national ad campaign promoting vaccinations, aimed at senior, Latino and Black Americans. And in partnership with Facebook, it was deploying social media profile frames so that ordinary Americans could share their intent to get vaccinations and their experience with the shots to their peers.

By the end of May, the U.S. will have enough supply of COVID-19 vaccine to cover all adults in the country, with President Joe Biden’s administration now shifting its efforts to ensuring nearly all Americans choose to get vaccinated. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has estimated that 70% to 85% of the population needs to be immune to the virus to reach herd immunity.