Report: Businesses Key to Gulf South Vaccination Efforts

Businesspeople Working And Maintaining Social Distance On A Sofa In A Modern Office
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NEW ORLEANS – New research from the Gulf South Index shows that people in our region are less likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine than those nationwide – but businesses can play a leading role in changing their minds.

“Businesses will need to play a large role in moving citizens that are unsure about receiving vaccines, because citizens here just trust the information they receive from their employer and other local businesses more than messages received from elected officials. Whether it is part of a larger employee health effort, peer-to-peer conversations in the workplace or even specific vaccination requirements, businesses are at the center of our chances to reach herd immunity in the Gulf South,” said Marc Ehrhardt, president and partner of the Ehrhardt Group, one of the creators of the Gulf South Index.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to President Biden, estimates that in order to achieve herd immunity, more than 70% of the population will have to have COVID-19 immunity, either from prior infection or the vaccine.  In the Gulf South, nearly 30% of people say that they will not get the vaccine.

People in the Gulf South trust their employers and local businesses more than they trust elected officials, according to GSI researchers. Friends and family on social media also have a stronger persuasive voice for those on the fence. Federal or state vaccine requirements may ultimately force citizens who say “no” today to change their minds because of needing proof of vaccinations for jobs, travel or other activities. However, grassroots initiatives by employers, local businesses and peers can certainly go a long way in reaching the “no” respondents and getting them on the path to “unsure” and then “yes.”

 The Gulf South Index is a cooperative project between the Ehrhardt Group, a public relations, content, issues and crisis firm, and Causeway Solutions, a nationally recognized research and data analysis company, that are both based in the Gulf South.

Categories: COVID-19, Healthcare, Today’s Business News