As if navigating our way through a global pandemic wasn’t enough, add this to the list of “unprecedented” things we need to deal with these days: understanding the intricacies of COVID-19 vaccine development and rollout. It would take the combined knowledge of an epidemiologist, emergency physician, psychologist, sociologist, public health expert and pharmacist to answer all the questions the average person has about this complex topic.
That’s where Walgreens comes in. Beyond the role our pharmacists are playing in administering vaccines in communities across America, the company wanted to provide a different kind of helpful dose – one of information and reassurance.
“With so much confusion around COVID-19 vaccines, we felt it was our responsibility to provide content and outreach to our customers that addressed the needs of our communities,” says Laurie Blair, head of brand marketing for Walgreens. “By listening to what we are hearing from our customers and patients, and then bringing in experts like our chief medical officer, Dr. Kevin Ban, and our incredible pharmacists, this is another service we can offer – being a trusted source of expertise, with content that can reach customers wherever they are at.”
A core group of clinical, marketing and communications team members have been working behind the scenes to produce video content – a mix of short animations, brief answers from Walgreens pharmacists on frequently asked questions, and in-depth interviews with renowned experts like Dr. Paul Offit and Dr. Leana Wen – all based on what customers are asking online, on social media and in stores.
Topics range from how clinical trials are run, to the historic reasons for vaccine hesitancy in Black communities, to details on the rollout to long-term care facilities. Since things are changing by the minute with the virus, content is being developed in real time, and is updated weekly on the Walgreens YouTube channel. And to make sure that everyone gets the answers they need, viewers are encouraged to embed the educational videos into their own websites and blogs, and share relevant info on social media.
“Ultimately, the goal is to help provide information that can help clear up confusion, alleviate vaccine hesitancy and expand access to really good, high quality information that can help our communities get vaccinated,” says Blair. “We want our customers and patients to know that we are here for them throughout this pandemic, and will continue to do all we can to help end it.”
You can find an up-to-date playlist of Walgreens COVID-19 content here, but to be sure to check out videos answering the following frequently asked questions:
How are seniors in long-term care getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?
What is emergency use authorization?
How does a vaccine trial work?
What is herd immunity?
How is Walgreens ensuring access to vaccines and care in underserved communities?