600,000 new vaccines administered by end of summer
The Dallas Regional Chamber’s (DRC) goal of its “Take Care of Business” public service campaign has been met as more than 600,000 new COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in the four-county Dallas Region since early June.
The DRC has been tracking vaccination numbers in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, and Denton Counties since June 9, the date of the campaign launch. As of Tuesday, September 14, 660,661* individuals 16 and older in the four-county region have received at least one shot of the vaccine in the three-month time period.
“This is very exciting. The credit does not go just to the DRC, but to every organization and individual in our community working to end the pandemic through the protection provided by vaccines,” said Dale Petroskey, President and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber. “It is our hope that the number of people getting the vaccine will continue to grow. That’s the surest way to stop the surge in cases overwhelming our hospitals.”
“I am glad to see that more people are choosing to get vaccinated,” said Michelle Vopni, Dallas Office Managing Partner for Ernst & Young LLP and Chair of the Board of the Dallas Regional Chamber. “I am proud of the DRC in its role in providing education and encouragement so that everyone in North Texas has the information he or she needs to make the choice to protect themselves and their loved ones from serious illness.”
The “Take Care of Business” campaign brought together business leaders and trusted community voices to encourage those hesitant to get vaccinated. The DRC took up the cause to protect people and paychecks: one in three small businesses in North Texas has closed since March of last year. The campaign also included a sweepstakes with drawings for prizes ranging from premium tickets to pro sporting events, to roundtrip airfares.
“When the vaccines became available, I had plenty of questions and researched them all,” said Cynt Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks and Member of the Board of Directors for the Dallas Regional Chamber. “The results of my research and responses from my doctor made me say ‘yes’ to the vaccine. I got the vaccine because I am mindful of my chemo-compromised immune system, and I wanted to improve my chances of beating COVID-19. I also wanted to do my part to help stop the spread of this deadly virus.”
Through pop-up vaccine clinics and a multimedia messaging campaign that included social media, billboards, a TV and radio Public Service Announcement (PSA), and website serving as an information hub with facts and resources on vaccinations, the campaign made a special effort to reach communities of color, which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
“Our efforts – large and small – to get folks vaccinated are working. Targeted outreach has helped to get people of color fully vaccinated and protected against COVID-19 and its severe complications,” said Leonor Marquez, CEO of Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic.
Pastor Bryan Carter of Concord Church echoed Marquez: “COVID-19 had challenged us all deeply but when we work together to get vaccinated, we can protect our community. We are grateful for the progress, but we must continue our efforts. Vaccinations are essential for our protection.”
“We are encouraged as more and more individuals have taken time to seek out reliable answers to their questions about vaccinations and chosen to be vaccinated,” said James Cutrell, M.D., Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in the division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical center. “We also recognize the need to build on this momentum and to continue to push for more encouragement and more education on vaccinations to the DFW community.”
While the DRC has met its campaign goal of 600,000 new vaccinations, the work continues. The PSA will continue to run on TV and radio, in grocery stores and doctors’ offices. Employers are encouraged to utilize the vaccination campaign toolkit – to help navigate conversations with co-workers, family, and friends about the importance of getting vaccinated.
*Residents in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, and Denton County 16 & older; data provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services.