CDPH Rolls Out Statewide COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach for Black and African American Audiences

Multi-Million Dollar Statewide “Let’s Get to ImmUnity” Campaign Will Address Questions, Concerns With COVID-19 Vaccinations Specific to the Black and African American Community


SACRAMENTO- Ahead of expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine on April 15 for all Californians aged 16+, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is rolling out tailored outreach for Black and African American communities across the state. This latest element of the “Let’s Get to ImmUnity” public education campaign is part of the state’s overall Vaccinate ALL 58 effort.

The “Let’s Get to ImmUnity” integrated media campaign launched statewide in early March as part of a broader $40 million effort to offer answers and reassurance that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and our greatest tool to end the pandemic. With the help of radio, print, social media, TV and billboard advertisements, the campaign aims to reach all Californians, with a focus on multicultural and multilingual media outlets. The campaign will connect with the Black and African American community by taking a listening-first approach to understand their unique concerns, partnering with trusted Black and African American leaders, and using culturally resonant content.

“Data shows that COVID-19 disproportionately impacts Black and African American communities in terms of severity, mortality, and economics. These communities are also being vaccinated at disproportionately low rates,” said Tomás Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “We designed this campaign to speak to the understandable, culturally-specific concerns and questions surrounding the vaccine of Black and African American communities.”

In the 30-second TV spot “Darius,” the campaign’s purpose comes to life via a simple Q&A conversation between Darius, an African American photographer from East Palo Alto, California, and Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, the California Surgeon General.

In addition to traditional communication channels, the campaign will also meet people where they are via community engagement efforts throughout the state. These efforts will begin in Oakland, where the campaign will partner with small businesses and community leaders serving the local Black and African American community to increase awareness of the safety and efficacy of the vaccines and mobilize community members to get vaccinated. The campaign will take a ground-up approach to these efforts providing informational materials that can be displayed in stores, shared with customers, or amplified on social channels. Community engagement efforts will expand to Black and African American communities across the state as the campaign continues and will remain focused on increasing vaccine equity.

The “Let’s Get to ImmUnity” campaign is placing additional focus on geographic areas in the bottom quarter of the Healthy Places Index (HPI), mirroring the state’s announcement last month to increase vaccine supply in these communities. The public education campaign is an important part in the state’s five-part plan for equitable vaccine administration. Other parts of the plan include:

  • Increasing the state’s vaccines supply allocated to the lowest 25 percent of ZIP codes based on the Public Health Alliance of Southern California’s HPI, and reserving appointments for priority populations through My Turn.
  • Creating a Statewide Vaccine Network with a Third Party Administrator (TPA) to include appropriate access in disproportionately impacted communities and supplements this access with evening/extended hours, transportation services, translation services, home-bound services, mobile vaccine services, and physical accessibility features at vaccination events, for example.
  • Leveraging the work Community Based Organizations (CBOs) have been doing to provide critical services and information to Californians during the pandemic.
  • Establishing the My Turn vaccine appointment and eligibility notification platform as a cornerstone of the state’s vaccine data analytics efforts to understand the demographics of vaccine recipients.