Biden Officials Are Wary of Launching Vaccination Ad As Doses Remain Limited

"We have to have product available before we go out and encourage people to seek it."

"A man is getting an injection with a syringe at hospital" (CC BY 2.0) by Marco Verch Professional Photographer

President Biden’s plan to have a massive campaign to Americans on getting a coronavirus remains on hold as the number of shots distributed to Americans is still very limited.

Much of the envisioned $1 Billion public awareness campaign of Biden remains on hold. This comes after health officials figure it makes no sense to make their pitch when only so few Americans can get vaccinated due to the limited supply of COVID vaccines. With this slow Vaccine distribution movement, the country cannot make vaccines available to the public until spring.

Mark Weber, a federal health official who is in charge of creating the government’s COVID-19 advertising campaign, said, “We have to have product available before we go out and encourage people to seek it.” He added, “We’re not there yet.”

Even as the country struggles to keep up with early demand for the Coronavirus vaccine, the White House believes an advertising campaign is necessary to overcome the significant amounts of vaccine hesitancy among Americans.

The Coronavirus vaccine distribution process has so far been rocky, with multiple states complaining about the severe shortfalls and difficulties of tracking where the COVID vaccine shots are going. On top of this, glitchy sign-up systems and canceled appointments have also generated early frustrations among Americans. Yet, Biden’s health team still spent its first weeks pleading for patience as the COVID vaccine manufacturing slowly ramps up.

Since Biden took office, his administration has been seeking to strike a balance between promoting the Coronavirus vaccines as a safe way to get out of the pandemic and cautioning a wide range of Americans against it.

In press conferences and TV appearances that Biden attended, the COVID-19 response team of the Biden administration tries to advance a tightly scripted message, focusing on the science behind the vaccines that are developed in a very short span of time. They also try to stress the challenge they face in boosting the vaccines’ production and expanding the distribution before the country is likely to see any measurable improvement toward ending the pandemic.

Meanwhile, during a briefing this week, Jeff Zients, White house Coronavirus coordinator, said, “this will not be easy.” He also added that vaccinating everyone in America is one of the greatest operational challenges that they have ever faced.

The White House has yet to launch a major national campaign to promote the vaccination drive. On top of that, regional and local outreach plans are still pending. Biden’s pledge of COVID-19 Vaccinations Collaborative is dedicated to sharing information and best practices with states, localities, and tribes that still haven’t gone public.

Up to date, the Biden administration does not have new messaging initiatives at the Department of Health and Human Services. The only one existing was when the Trump administration assigned Weber in charge of the ad campaign that was aimed at “defeating despair” over the pandemic.

Although President Biden and first lady Jill Biden appeared in a taped message before the Super Bowl last Sunday, the point is expected to focus largely on the work of frontline health care professionals.

The most definite effort that is in place to promote Coronavirus vaccines during the big game will instead come from the nonprofit Ad Council and the COVID Collaborative initiative airing a 90-second commercial that Budweiser funded.