SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – To date, about 56% of people in Iowa have been fully immunized, ranking the state 25th in the country.
On December 3, 2020, the four Catholic bishops of Iowa released a statement encouraging their parishioners to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as it becomes available to them. Almost a year later, they take a different approach.
This different approach is the publication of a public awareness campaign focused on the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. The statement that the four bishops released last December said in part:
“There is encouraging news regarding the development and distribution of vaccines against the coronavirus. Thanks to God.”
However, the Iowans still lag behind other parts of the country, with just over 47% of Woodbury County’s population fully vaccinated. Dawn Prosser, Director of Communications at the Diocese of Sioux City, was part of this collaborative effort that brought the campaign to life and spoke about the origins of the idea.
“Kent Farris, who works with the Diocese of Davenport and Catholic charities, came up with the idea to include all dioceses and have a more powerful message. Ask the four bishops to come together and give their approval to this, ”said Prosser.
The videos will be released over the next few weeks and feature Iowans from all walks of life, from farmers to a factory worker in Laos, and everything in between, all telling their personal stories.
“We received messages in English, Spanish, Laotian just reiterating that ‘Hey this is my story and this is how COVID affected me and my family and this is why I believe in the vaccine so here is the information so you can make your decision, ”Prosser said.
Prosser explained why the diocese wanted to include testimonies from various personalities.
“Just to really show off the beautiful diversity of our state and our communities, not only here in Northwest Iowa, but across the state as well. We’re just really proud of the fact that it was able to come about, ”said Prosser.
The full PSAs published so far by the Iowa Catholic Conference can be found here.