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Texas spends $1.5M to kick off next phase of COVID-19 vaccination campaign


AUSTIN, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) — The Texas Department of State Health Services is launching the next phase of its campaign encouraging Texans to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with $1.5 million in television and radio ads.

The campaign combines general information on vaccine safety and effectiveness with messages geared toward specific groups that research shows tend to be less likely to get vaccinated.

The first ad, which started running Monday, April 19, features Dr. Farris Blount talking to fellow Black Texans about the importance of getting vaccinated. Digital ads are also running in English and Spanish featuring Dr. Ross, a Houston physician, and Dr. Emilie Prot, the DSHS regional medical director in Harlingen.

DSHS Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt said, “Our research shows that individual health care professionals are the most trusted voices for people deciding whether to get vaccinated. Over the coming weeks we will continue to share messages encouraging various communities to get vaccinated. We are also relying on trusted voices within those communities to speak up and let their neighbors know that the available COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to end the pandemic and restore normalcy.”

Later this week, DSHS will have the first of 22 parking lot pop-up events around Texas. These 4-hour events, which will be held in Walmart parking lots through mid-May, will feature a 16-foot video wall with facts about COVID-19 vaccines.

The first three events will take place Thursday, April 22 in Austin, Friday, April 23 in Houston, and Saturday, April 24 in Beaumont.

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