Michigan spends $50M on vaccine ads, plans barbershop outreach for Black men

September 22, 2021, 8:55 AM


Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist is vaccinated. (Photo: State of Michigan)

The Detroit News checks the price tag on the deluge of vaccine ads from the state thus far: $51 million — $45 million of them federal and $6 million from the general fund.

The large total — which has gone to TV ads, radio ads and even gas pump toppers — shows the financial force behind the state's effort to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. But it also points to the resistance facing officials even though state tracking reinforces that vaccines are safeguarding people against hospitalization and death.

Since the beginning of August, only two states have seen the percentage of their total populations with at least one dose increase by smaller percentage-point margins than Michigan: Vermont and West Virginia, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The ads won't stop, but The News reports they'll be coupled with a more tailored approach.

The campaign to promote the vaccine will soon be launching outreach targeted at specific communities, (Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said). There will be an effort focused on men of color, including community conversations at barber shops and places where people congregate, he said.

"We need to continue to evolve tactically," Gilchrist said.

A little more than 67 percent of Michiganders over the age of 16 have received at least one vaccine dose, shy of the state's target of 70 percent by Labor Day.

Read more:  Detroit News

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