Texas launches multimillion dollar campaign to combat vaccine hesitancy

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Snappy music opens the 15-second video featuring a diverse bunch of Texans getting their shots at a COVID-19 vaccination site.

The ad ends with a Black woman imploring her peers to “do it for yourself, do it for your family, do it for your community.”

Then she feigns shooting a basketball through a hoop with her hands.

“Take the shot!”

Another video released this week features vaccinated Texans over 65 talking about seeing their grandchildren again.

The ads, developed by the Texas Department of Health Services and released in the past week, are the first in a $2.3 million public awareness campaign being launched by the state to increase acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine and inform the public on how to get the shot.

It comes amid fears that not enough people will choose to be vaccinated in order to stop the spread of the deadly virus, which has killed 39,000 Texans and which experts estimate can only be overcome if at least 75% of the population is immunized. National surveys indicate that as many as 40% of Americans are hesitant to get the shot, with those numbers disproportionately higher among communities of color.

Health experts and public officials widely agree that the vaccine is safe. Pfizer and Moderna reported their vaccines are 95% and 94% effective, respectively, at protecting people from serious illness, and while no vaccine is without side effects, clinical trials for both Pfizer and Moderna show serious reactions are rare.