Vaccinate St. Clair County Campaign

As the number of COVID-19 cases started trending up again this summer, Memorial Foundation Board Chair Geri Boyer wanted the Foundation to make a difference in the community.

Over 95% of the COVID cases in the hospital were unvaccinated patients, and about 75% were African Americans from underserved communities in the area. Patients also were much younger than those previously hospitalized throughout this pandemic.

Memorial Foundation’s Board of Directors made a significant investment and engaged a local agency to develop a campaign utilizing targeted social media, mobile app, spot cable, connected TV, and digital marketing along with community-based events to improve the vaccination rate in St. Clair County. A similar campaign created by this agency for Will County, Illinois, earlier in the year resulted in a significant improvement in vaccination rates among underserved populations.

The Vaccinate St. Clair County campaign launched in late September and vaccination numbers within the targeted areas increased within the first week. By the end of October, the number of fully vaccinated individuals in the African-American, Hispanic, and white populations increased by 8.2%, 7.2%, and 4.1% respectively. The campaign features emotional messages from COVID survivors and physicians as well as those who have lost family members to COVID.

In addition to the media campaign, Memorial Foundation has provided grants to community-based organizations willing to hold vaccination events in their communities. Mobile vaccination units from St. Clair County Health Department, East Side Health District, and Illinois Department of Public Health are providing vaccine administration at these events.

Thus far, Catholic Urban Programs, Community Life Line/New Life Community Church, and Delta Economic Development Corporation have taken advantage of grant funding for vaccination events.

“After getting Memorial’s COVID Update week after week and seeing the numbers continue to rise, the Foundation decided to take action,” said Boyer. “We are thrilled with the results we are seeing and hope that our efforts are not only saving lives but helping decrease COVID’s impact on our hospital staff.”