Remember normal? Pfizer and BioNTech join with health groups to remind us—and promote COVID-19 vaccine safety

COVID-19 vaccine
Pfizer and BioNTech join with health groups to promote “Science can make this possible. Only you can make it real,” COVID-19 awareness campaign.(Getty/Meyer & Meyer)

Remember hugging, playing with grandchildren, kissing people goodbye and sharing exciting news with family in person? While COVID-19 has kiboshed those things, Pfizer and BioNTech want to remind people about them—and how they'll be possible again with vaccines. 

The Comirnaty vaccine makers, together with a coalition of health organizations, recently debuted an awareness campaign aimed at shoring up confidence in the new COVID-19 shots.

The 25- to 30-second videos are real takes of real people—found online and then licensed with consent for the digital campaign, which launched last week on social media. Future plans include a move to local TV.

“Those are real people, real emotions and real scenarios,” Sharon J. Castillo, senior director of global media relations at Pfizer, said. "These are not actors. These were not staged. These are real. We are hoping that they remind all of us of the human touch that we crave so much of going back to normal and being able to hug our grandparents."

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With its tagline—“Science can make this possible. Only you can make it real.”—the campaign emphasizes that, while the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines is good news, it won't make a difference if a majority of people don’t get them.

Though Pfizer and BioNTech have launched their own product, this unbranded educational effort is meant to raise awareness about all COVID-19 vaccines. The companies are working in conjunction with a broad group of trade associations that includes the American College of Emergency Physicians, American Nurses Association, National Black Nurses Association and the American Pharmacists Association.

Their goal? Quell the fear of the vaccine, especially in Black and Hispanic communities.

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A key part of that effort is dispelling the misconception—and fear—that the vaccines were rushed. As Castillo said, the campaign website and partner groups aim to let people know that there were no shortcuts or skipped steps, but rather an “unprecedented collaboration between what are usually competitors.”

“When it comes to vaccine confidence and making sure that people have the right information, we all have a role to play," she said. "The industry has a role to play, academia, the media—I mean, we're all in this together, and so the more of these that people see, the better.”