The Biden administration is launching a new ad campaign to promote the updated bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, in hopes of accelerating a booster campaign that has begun to stall nationwide, reports WTOP.
“It’s a new day, because COVID vaccines just got a big update,” a narrator says at the start of one of the spots, titled “Just in Time.”
Federal health authorities have shelled out to air the ads on television, starting with commercial breaks during the ABC shows “Good Morning America” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” A radio spot on the “Big Update” will also air starting October 17.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) did not respond to a request for comment on how much the television spots would cost. Dr. Cameron Webb, a White House COVID-19 official, said HHS had been able to “shuffle around some dollars” to put together a campaign for the fall.
Print ads targeted to Native American and rural communities will also be appearing in newspapers in 18 cities, ranging from Albuquerque in New Mexico to Bangor in Maine.
“The new spots airing today send a powerful message about the importance of getting the updated vaccine ahead of the holidays, especially for people age 50 and up who are at disproportionate risk of hospitalization,” Sarah Lovenheim, the assistant secretary for public affairs for HHS, said in a statement.
The ad campaign marks a new front in the Biden administration’s messaging around the shots. An earlier series of ads had focused only on the graver risks posed by the virus to Americans 50 years and older.