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Pima County extends deadline for #VaxTruthChallenge contest to encourage more young people to share stories

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Posted at 4:24 AM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 18:35:59-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It is a push by Pima County to get more people vaccinated and leaders are hoping young people can help.

You've heard of "vaccine hesitancy" and as new guidelines and regulations come out, it is all to get the country to herd immunity.

The CDC and FDA moved to allow those 12 and up to start getting vaccinated. While experts say children play a critical role in reaching herd immunity, young people can also help in the push to get vaccinated.

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"We're really turning to youth who are getting the vaccine, who've had experiences around COVID, who have stories related to families, who've been impacted by COVID as a whole and asking them to share out those stories in creative ways and use their own voice to share their own experiences around the virus and the vaccine," says Brian Eller, the COVID-Schools Liasion for the Pima County Health Department.

That is why leaders in the county have launched the #VaxTruthChallenge contest.

Eller says, "It's really an attempt to try and get, engage the public in a way to share factual vaccine-based information using social media platforms. So, things like Tiktok, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube -- a lot of those content areas where the health department doesn't have that generational touch, or that generational management or ability to share that information."

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Those ages 16 to 24-years-old who are interested and live in Pima County can create a video that address one of four themes:

  • What’s the truth about COVID-19 and getting the vaccine?
  • Set the record straight – say no to misinformation
  • Why does the vaccine matter?
  • What do people need to know so they can get their shot?

But before uploading the finished work, those entering videos might want to check their privacy settings.

"One of the big issues has been privacy filters. So, if you have the video set to private, it doesn't enable you to share it the same way and it's more difficult for us to actually visualize the content. So, sometimes we've had to do a little bit of backtracking with some individuals to see if they could change that privacy filter so we can actually see the video."

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While prizes are involved for those who win the contest, the real reward comes from the challenge's main focus.

"We're really trying to get that herd immunity because as soon as we get that it's going to be one step closer to normal again," says Eller.

The original deadline to enter was May 17th but has been extended to tentatively June 1st, according to the health department.

For those who want to get involved in other ways, leaders say there are opportunities to volunteer, talk with peers at school and even encourage other to get the vaccine by sharing experiences in conversations.

To learn more about the contest rules and how to enter, click here.