TULSA, OK – [May 24, 2021] – The Tulsa Health Department will expand its messaging toolkit with a new SMS text notification campaign to create awareness to those who have not yet received their free COVID-19 vaccine. Messages will be sent to devices across the state of Oklahoma with the aim of reaching residents residing in zip codes with lower vaccination rates in Tulsa County. This is going to be a series of four messages spread out over the course of six weeks.
“These messages are not a scam,” said Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “THD will never ask for personal information or money. The text messages are intended to help recipients schedule their first dose or make them aware of walk-in opportunities near them.”
Text messages are sent by real humans and will identify as messages sent on behalf of THD. It will come from an Oklahoma area code depending on where the individual resides; it may show up as a 918 or 405 area code. Individuals can engage with the messages with any follow up questions or requests of more information. Individuals will also have access to reply in Spanish. Recipients can opt-out at any time.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the communication goals surrounding mitigation strategies, testing and vaccination have remained the same: to empower Tulsa County residents with scientific and credible information to make decisions about their health and safety.
As of May 20th, 45.8 percent of Tulsa County residents ages 18+ have been fully vaccinated according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Text message reminders are proven effective for increasing vaccination uptake, and we are looking for creative ways to generate awareness and reach herd immunity,” added Dart. “We expect that for those who are open to getting vaccinated but haven’t followed through, these types of reminders will be an effective nudge toward vaccination.”
More information regarding vaccine clinic locations in Tulsa County can be found at vaccinate918.com. THD continues to offer specimen collection for COVID-19 testing by appointment only. Appointments can be scheduled online. Call 918-582-9355 to speak to a public health professional. For more information about COVID-19, please visit tulsa-health.org/COVID19.
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