CHICAGO, Ill (WEHT) – With the highly contagious Omicron variant spreading throughout Illinois, the State of Illinois launched a new vaccine awareness campaign.

The campaign is called “On The Fence,” and it features 18 stories from Illinoisans who were initially hesitant but are now fully vaccinated. The campaign will roll out over the coming months, including stories from people from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.

“We are on the eve of the third year of this pandemic, but we have the tools to get through this, and I encourage everyone on the fence to get vaccinated,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Reaching out to a relative, a coworker or a neighbor who is hesitant about getting the vaccine with kindness and compassion will help keep us all safe. Where we go next as a state is a matter of all of us pitching in. I urge everyone to get vaccinated, get boosted, and do their part.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recognizes that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine strategy is a critical piece to reduce COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the unvaccinated are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who have been vaccinated and boosted. “We understand there are still people who have concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines, and I urge them to talk with a health care provider as well as others who have been vaccinated,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

The campaign will reach Illinoisans in every corner of the state in both English and Spanish through a variety of traditional and online media channels, including television, radio, billboards, bus shelters, print, and social media. Similar to other coronavirus-related expenses, costs are reimbursable by the federal government. To find COVID-19 vaccine location nearby, visit this website or call 1-800-232-0233.