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Seattle, UW Pulmonary Doctor To Discuss Variants, Vaccines Tonight

Courtesy of Dr. Vin Gupta

A Seattle pulmonary doctor says it may be necessary to tweak Covid vaccine marketing strategies to appeal to the younger people who are now, and will soon be, eligible for shots.

Dr. Vin Gupta will share that message tonight [Wednesday] with a Spokane audience. Gupta is a critical care physician who is on the faculty of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.He keeps his eye on the Covid variants that are making their way around the world, including the version that is ravaging India. It’s in the U.S. too, he says, but the U.K. and California versions are most prevalent here.

Gupta is also thinking about how to convince young people to take the shots needed to avoid those variants.

“There are a different set of questions that are top of mind for individuals in their late teens, 20s and 30s than there are for older generations that want to get the vaccine and were craving for the vaccine when it was particularly scarce. Now we don’t have scarcity. Scarcity drives demand. We have a supply glut and we have a perception here that Covid is less dangerous among younger people," he said.

He says the message to those people needs to focus on the potential health dangers, especially the long-term problems that may come when contracting the virus. And Gupta says marketers need to consider who is conveying the message. In this case, age matters.

“I think sometimes younger messengers that are 15 years your senior can be more effective than those that are 30-40 years your senior because they can empathize with your phase of life a little bit more," he said.

Gupta will talk about vaccines and variants Wednesday night at a University of Washington-Gonzaga webinar that’s open to the public. You’ll need to register to attend. You can find a link on the events page of the Gonzaga website.