ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A new push to get more people vaccinated features everyday people. Rochester residents can ask local health leaders questions about the COVID vaccine, to air in segments on TV, radio or social media.

Local organizations teaming together for the project include Common Ground Health, CauseWave Community Partners, Truth Collective and the Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force.

It’s called the “You Deserve Answers” campaign.  

Rose Tomlinson of Rochester is one of the participants.

She didn’t think she’d get the vaccine at first; she had a lot of questions. “What was in the vaccine, how did you arrive at this vaccine so quickly,” she said.

As time went on, she decided to get answers from people she trusts.

“Monroe County Task Force, Common Ground Health, they have a lot of answers to all the questions, they have those answers, and I said let me listen to them first,” said Tomlinson.

After learning more, she made a decision to get the vaccine. Now, she’s part of this new project that gives people like her a platform.

“The spots all feature real local people with real questions as well as local medical experts,” said organizer Todd Butler, CEO of CauseWave. Butler says it’s about giving a space for those with questions, and those with answers.

“With the hope that if we give them straight-forward answers from medical experts, it will ultimately result in them being confident that the vaccine is safe and something they want to do to protect themselves and their families,” he said.

Dr. Nancy Bennett with the Finger Lakes Task Force is one of those experts. She says the efforts to get more people vaccinated are nonstop, and they take time.

“It’s very slow but picking up,” said Dr. Bennett. “I think people are realizing with the spread of the delta virus how critically important vaccination is.”

She’s heard stories like Rose’s and has faith there will be more.

“They will feel more comfortable with it, and we think that message comes best from someone you already trust, she said.

Organizers say a pandemic grant from United Way and Rochester Area Community Foundation helped make this project possible.