Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services will kick off the Bringing Summer Back campaign on May 9 with more than 140 partner organizations across the state registered to rally together to promote COVID-19 vaccination in their communities.

The new summer get-out-the-vaccine campaign offers a fun, flexible and community-centered approach that creates a space for every organization and individual to roll up their sleeves and do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Since the Bringing Summer Back campaign was announced on April 22, organizations of all sizes have registered to participate by hosting vaccine education events, going door to door to help community members schedule their appointments and sharing vaccine information across their communication channels.

Registered organizations span over 55 counties and are estimated to involve more than 3,100 volunteers in their efforts, with a total estimated reach of more than 1.2 million North Carolinians.

“We are excited that thousands of people from all corners of the state have joined the Bringing Summer Back campaign to encourage their neighbors to get vaccinated,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy K. Cohen. “While our state continues to make great strides in vaccinating as many people as possible, we still have more work to do to get more people vaccinated, reduce the spread of COVID-19 and bring summer back to North Carolina.”

The campaign will run during two weeks in May (May 9–15 and May 16–21) and two weeks in June (June 6–12 and June 20–26).

The more than 140 organizations registered vary and include the business sector, medical organizations, health departments, faith-based organizations, community-based groups and various charitable organizations.

Partner activities will vary and are set by participating groups. Groups plan to host vaccine clinics, distribute information about COVID-19 vaccines, offer incentives to those who get vaccinated and participate in other ways that will resonate with their communities.

Seventy-five organizations are registered to participate during the campaign’s first week and include event centers, health systems, religious groups, schools/colleges, retail stores, social services groups, non-profits, sports leagues and more. A list of partners can be viewed HERE.

Recent public opinion research shows medical professionals are among the most trusted sources for information about COVID-19 vaccines. NCDHHS has partnered with medical societies to encourage health care providers to participate in Bringing Summer Back.

Medical professionals who wish to participate can register by using this form, where they can also download a toolkit specifically designed for communicating with patients about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Organizations that want to get involved can register, download the partner toolkit and access ideas for how to participate at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/BringSummerBack (Spanish: covid19.ncdhhs.gov/DevueltaAlVerano) or by emailing SocialMedia@dhhs.nc.gov.

The toolkit also offers simple, specific steps individuals can take to navigate people to an appointment, such as calling loved ones who haven’t been vaccinated yet, sharing their experience on social media and asking if anyone needs support in getting vaccinated.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines in North Carolina, visit YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov or call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Help Center at 888-675-4567. Appointments can be made by visiting MySpot.nc.gov.

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