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  • Writer's pictureSally Herships

What Elvis Can Teach Us About Vaccine Marketing

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

As the coronavirus continues to spread, scientists are racing to create a vaccine. But vaccine creation is only one part of the immunization process. When or if a COVID-19 vaccine is available, public health officials will likely face an entirely different challenge.

Polling has shown that anywhere from about half to two-thirds of Americans say they are unlikely to take a coronavirus vaccine. So how do governments and health institutions market a product they really need Americans to buy?

On today's show, the story of how Elvis Presley helped market the vaccine for polio to a skeptical public, and what lessons we can draw from that campaign to help in the fight against the coronavirus.

A shorter version of this aired on All Things Considered on November 11, 2020.


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