April 1 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden's administration on Thursday opened a public education campaign involving a network of community leaders, celebrities and athletes to encourage Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The "We Can Do This" campaign will feature television and social media ads, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday. The department said it hopes the campaign will combat any hesitancy from Americans to get the vaccine.
The agency is unveiling new social media profile frames so Americans can display their choice to get vaccinated and encourage friends and family to do the same. The first television ads, including one in Spanish, started running nationwide Thursday.
The network of community leaders, dubbed the Community Corps, will be comprised of "trusted voices in communities across the country." The administration plans to regularly share with the network updated public health information and talking points about the vaccine to help them get friends, family and followers vaccinated.
As part of the launch, Vice President Kamala Harris and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy met with founding members on Thursday.
The campaign will include public health experts such as the American Medical Association, Planned Parenthood, AARP, Feeding America, labor unions, the National 4-H Council, American Farm Bureau, Sierra Club, business organizations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, religious leaders and groups representing veterans, Black and Latino communities and Native and Tribal leaders.
Athletes from Major League Baseball, the National Football League, NASCAR, Major League Soccer, the PGA Tour and WWE also will participate, officials said. Former NFL athletes Anthony Becht, Chester Pitts and Orlando Pace were listed as participants in the HHS press release.
"Research shows that, when making the decision to get vaccinated, people want to hear from people they trust," the HHS announcement said.
"The Community Corps was created to provide those trusted messengers with consistent and accurate information about COVID-19 to empower as many Americans as possible to become messengers to share the importance of vaccination in their community."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 150.3 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered to date and nearly 200 million doses have been distributed in the United States.
Vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have been approved for emergency use by the CDC and Food and Drug Administration.