The United Nurses and Allied Professionals, a union representing more than 7,000 nurses and health professionals, today launched a campaign asking Rhode Islanders to consider getting vaccinated and/or boosted if they have not already.

The campaign features video interviews with nurses who have worked on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, and intends to inform Rhode Islanders about the toll the pandemic has taken on these frontline workers. 

UNAP President Lynn Blais, RN said in a statement, “As the union representing frontline healthcare workers, we feel it’s important for us to help tell the stories of the people we represent, so Rhode Islanders can hear it first-hand. We hope to help unvaccinated and unboosted Rhode Islanders understand that the impact of not getting the vaccine and/or the booster goes far beyond their own personal interest. The majority of COVID patients in our ERs and ICUs are unvaccinated and it’s impacting our hospitals’ ability to deliver quality care. It’s exacerbated the staffing shortage that was already at crisis levels even before the pandemic. The end result is, unvaccinated people continue to be sick and take up hospital beds, Rhode Islanders with other medical issues can’t get the care they need and deserve, and our frontline caregivers are the ones who bear the brunt of it.”

Blais continued, “We have been asked time and again how we propose solving the staffing crisis in our hospitals. And while there are a lot of actions the hospitals and state can take that tinker around the edges, the only real way to solve this immediate crisis is to get more people vaccinated and boosted to keep the number of admissions down. No one understands the devastating toll that COVID-19 has taken more than nurses and health professionals, and we hope you’ll watch these videos and get a better understanding of what it’s like to be on the frontlines of this pandemic response. An individual who gets vaccinated not only protects themselves, but they also protect their fellow Rhode Islanders, including frontline healthcare workers.”  

The videos along with information about how to get vaccinated can be viewed below and at www.HelpOurHealthCareWorkers.com.

Those interviewed include:

Trish Criner, ICU Nurse at Kent Hospital

Sherry-Ann Johnson, ICU Nurse at Rhode Island Hospital

Helene Macedo, Registered Nurse at Rhode Island Hospital

Eric Bonilla, a COVID survivor who was hospitalized for six days with the virus

The campaign will launch today in the Rhode Island media market with a mix of traditional and digital media.

What's Up Crew

The latest from the What's Up Crew.