Starting on Sunday, May 9, the state of North Carolina along with a vast number of partners will begin a widespread campaign to get many more North Carolinians vaccinated for COVID-19. 

Sunday will be the kick off of the “Bringing Summer Back” campaign – when the state, and more than 140 partnering organizations, will try to convince North Carolinians to get vaccinated so that, by summer, there can be crowds, concerts, maskless fun in the sun and a general return to how things used to be pre-pandemic.

According to a Friday, May 7 press release from state health officials, the new campaign will offer a “fun, flexible and community-centered approach that creates a space for every organization and individual to roll up their sleeves and do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The idea behind “Bringing Summer Back” is to offer a carrot, rather than a stick, approach to convincing those who haven’t been vaccinated to do so.

 Community organizations of all types will participate in the campaign by doing things such as hosting vaccine education events and sending people door to door to help residents schedule their appointments. 

They’ll also be sharing vaccine information on TV, radio, social media and the word of mouth network.  The state’s effort is being conducted in conjunction with programs by local governments in the state.  For instance, Guilford County government has already begun a media and social media blitz to convince people in Guilford County to get vaccinated.  Statewide, over half of the state’s 100 counties are using more than 3,000 volunteers to get the word out that the vaccines are safe and effective.

The new state-led “Bringing Back Summer” campaign will run until the end of June.  More than 140 organizations are taking part including businesses, medical organizations, health departments, churches and other faith-based organizations, community-based groups and charitable organizations.

The idea is that, with people in local communities taking part, the message is more likely to resonate well with the people who live in those areas.

Recent public opinion research shows that medical professionals are among the most trusted sources for information about COVID-19 vaccines – so the state is partnering with medical societies to encourage health care providers to participate in the “Bringing Summer Back” campaign.