Causewave Community Partners, Common Ground Health and the Finger Lakes Vaccine Hub and Task Force partnered with local marketing firm Truth Collective to develop a campaign to increase vaccination rates and vaccine confidence in the Finger Lakes region. The new media campaign, called “You Deserve Answers,” features real people in our region asking real questions about the COVID vaccine and getting answers from local experts.

The campaign uses television, radio, online display and social media advertising to cut through the noise of polarizing viewpoints on the vaccine, and encourages people to visit to get all their questions answered.

The group collaborated with local health departments, health care providers, and community partners to ensure the campaign dovetails with other community efforts. The campaign was heavily informed by regional listening tours and focus groups that aimed to understand Black, Latinx and rural residents’ concerns about the vaccines.

The campaign was made possible through contributions from the Community Crisis Fund, organized by Rochester Area Community Foundation and United Way, along with a second Community Crisis Response grant from United Way, Common Ground, Truth Collective, and many volunteers.

As COVID-19 cases increase rapidly across New York State, regional data show areas where vaccination rates remain dangerously low, with fewer than 40% of people 12 years and older having received at least one dose in several zip codes in Seneca, Monroe, Wyoming, Yates, and Livingston counties.

The campaign was developed in pursuit of the goal to ensure the equitable, transparent, and efficient immunization of at least 70% of the adult residents in all areas of the Finger Lakes region. The “You Deserve Answers” campaign provides answers to common questions and concerns about the vaccine, provided by trusted local medical experts.

The campaign site,, is part of the Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Hub website, which provides regional vaccination data and information on nearby vaccination sites.

“This campaign is an important addition to all our efforts to share honest, thorough and true information about the COVID-19 vaccines,” said Nancy “Nana” Bennett, Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and co-chair of the Finger Lakes Vaccine Task Force. “Everyone does ‘deserve answers’ and we will continue to do our best to provide them. Anything we can do to communicate the effectiveness and safety of these vaccines is a gift to our communities. Increasing everyone’s knowledge to the point that they decide to get vaccinated is the only way we can stop this deadly pandemic.”

“We are grateful to the many community members who shared their concerns about the vaccine,” said Wade S. Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health and co-chair of the Finger Lakes Vaccine Task Force. “Like many people we heard from, I too had questions about vaccine safety and testing. Getting those concerns answered by experts gave me the confidence I needed to get my shot. I am thrilled that this campaign will help more people get the answers they deserve, so that together, we can stop this pandemic in its tracks.”

“This campaign is a natural follow-up to our work on “Six Feet Saves,” the community outreach campaign that helped save lives in the early stages of the pandemic,” said Todd Butler, Causewave’s President & CEO. “For this effort, we really listened to the community, and we heard loud and clear that the path to vaccine confidence requires straightforward dialogue. When people feel like their questions are respected and answered by experts they can trust, they actually engage in this decision, rather than avoiding it. That’s the core of “You Deserve Answers” – respecting people and getting them the information they need to make their own, informed decision.”

“We live in a world where everyone has opinions they want to share and yet no one seems to want to allow anyone to respond,” said John Roberts, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Truth Collective. “We’re all telling and talking, not listening. Truth is, that doesn’t work. People don’t want to feel manipulated, they want to feel in charge of their choices. This campaign encourages them to do just that.”

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