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Vitality Survey of Almost 90,000 U.S. Employees Offers Insights and Strategies to Drive COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance

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As our nation approaches the Biden administration’s original goal of having 70% of eligible Americans vaccinated by Independence Day, Vitality Group, a global health and wellness company committed to making people healthier, has released the results of its own efforts to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Recognizing the important role that Vitality plays in COVID-19 prevention, the organization asked its members about their vaccination intentions starting in January. Of the survey respondents, 70% said they were already vaccinated or planned to get vaccinated. To encourage the people that were hesitant or undecided, Vitality launched a campaign to educate, engage and incentivize these members. This included motivational and educational communications, personal goals, rewards, blog posts, and webinars to help people make an informed decision and change behaviors.

From the participating vaccine hesitant pool, 69% increased their willingness to or got vaccinated as of May 28. Additionally, 67% of those with elevated clinical and/or lifestyle risks increased their willingness to get the vaccine. This is encouraging when considering the results of other studies such as a paper published in JAMA that found an overall decline in vaccine hesitancy of 10.8 percentage points – from 46% in October 2020 to 35% in March 2021.

“We play an important role in helping our members make informed decisions about their health including getting vaccinated,” said Christine Brophy, Vice President, Behavior Change at Vitality. “Our Stay Safe Together campaign kicked off last year as the first U.S. COVID-19 vaccinations became available and we met with clients on the front line and part of the distribution chain to gather important early learnings and insights. Throughout the pandemic, we reached out to our members early and often as it was important to understand what was behind their hesitancy so that we could develop tools, resources and timely information to support them.”

Additional findings:
• For those who were originally undecided that engaged in Vitality, 76% ultimately received the vaccine
• Of those people who said they were not planning to get vaccinated that engaged in Vitality, 35% ultimately received the vaccine
• Older individuals, females and members living in urban areas had greater decreases in vaccine hesitancy

“It’s important to recognize that sometimes there are several doors that can be opened to get into the same room and a one-size-fits-all approach is rarely the answer,” added Brophy. “Our approach to behavior change, incentives and communication made an impact.”

As of June 22, 115,744 of Vitality members have submitted proof of vaccination. Initial survey findings were released in March along with a global toolkit with free resources for employer and insurance clients, members and the broader community.

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