Just another sign of the times. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is launching a media campaign to promote the safety and effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Why would that be another sign of the times? Because of so much skepticism about, well, anything, these days. No matter what the topic, there is a portion of the population, that is very vocal about anything medical related. But in this case, it's specifically about the Covid-19 vaccines that are being rolled out.

The state of Michigan is spending about $1.5 Million dollars to convince residents that the vaccines are safe and effective. This is in response to research indicating attitudes toward the vaccine are not universally positive and thus, to address vaccine hesitancy among those Michigan residents.

According to MDHHS, the top reasons for not getting the vaccine as soon as possible include concerns about side effects (67%); not wanting to feel like a test subject (66%); needing to know more about its safety (65%); wanting to learn more about how the vaccine performs over time (62%); needing to know more about its effectiveness (61%); and concerns about politicians pushing out the vaccine before it’s safe (58%). That's a tall order to overcome.

MDHHS says it's committed to accelerating vaccine delivery to work to reach its goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders over age 16 as quickly as possible with the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, the vaccine is currently available to health care workers, long-term care residents and staff, Michiganders over age 65, preK-12, day care staff and other essential frontline workers. But as we get into the month of February, phase 1-C will include more residents, and then by April or May the general population, 16 and older will be eligible to get the Covid shots.

“We want all Michiganders to get the facts about this safe and effective vaccine and the steps that were taken to develop it. I am grateful and proud to have gotten both doses of my vaccine and I urge Michiganders to make and plan and get vaccinated when it is their turn. This is the way forward out of the pandemic and our chance to return to a sense of normalcy.” - Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical executive.

From the state's point of view, the sooner that enough Michiganders are vaccinated, the sooner life can begin to return to normal. Time will tell about the skepticism.

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