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St. Joseph’s/Candler’s new COVID vaccine campaign met with controversy

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 5:37 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2021 at 6:14 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A local healthcare system’s new campaign is getting a lot of attention on social media.

St. Joseph’s/Candler recently launched a media blitz in efforts to get more people in the community vaccinated against the coronavirus.

One of the ways the hospital system is spreading a message on the importance of the vaccine is with a billboard on the corner of Abercorn and Whitebluff.

In a statement from St. Joseph’s/Candler, they say, “We recognize that the message might make some people uncomfortable. But it needed to be said, nonetheless.”

The “Be our Hero. Get Vaccinated.” campaign began about two weeks ago, on the billboard, social media, and on tv - including running on WTOC.

The St. Joseph’s/Candler statement also said, “Hospitals need our region to get to a 70% vaccination rate and we believe that will prevent another catastrophic COVID spike in the future.”

As of Tuesday, 49 percent of Chatham County residents are fully vaccinated.

In a video, St. Joseph’s/Candler President and CEO Paul Hinchey talks with health care workers within the system about what they say is a persistent, and preventable problem.

“I feel bad for them, because they are struggling. But it is preventable.”

“Overwhelming amount of volume coming in.”

“It’s way worse than last year.”

“Much younger, much sicker, much quicker.”

The video aims to give the public a glimpse into the world of weary doctors, nurses and staff, exhausted physically and emotionally after treating COVID-positive patients for the past year and a half. Their plea - for more people to get the vaccine.

“I hope they trust us enough to think about getting the vaccine.”

St. Joseph’s/Candler says the campaign is meant to get the public’s attention, saying they don’t want their patients to be another COVID statistic. They say it was time the community heard from those on the front line.

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