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Business partnership aiming for 80% local vaccination rate by July 4

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Vaccine social 3.26

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) - Project Better Together was formed in May 2020 to create a sense of community for business owners during the isolation of the pandemic.

The organization held virtual forums to help business owners reopen safely after lockdown, and also ran an Adopt a Health Care Worker gift registry around the holidays.

Now, leaders are focused on getting the word out about the importance of getting vaccinated.

"There's some hesitancy around some of the official, government messaging," Director Mark Nolte said. "People need to hear it from their neighbors, their coworkers."

Nolte and Project Better Together announced the launch of a social media campaign Friday to get people vaccinated. The project's goal is to get 80% of Johnson County residents over the age of 16 vaccinated by July 4.

"If we can reach this milestone and people feel safe gathering and getting back out, that's the best thing we can for ourselves," Nolte said.

Think Iowa City, Iowa City Area Development, Iowa City Area Business Partnership and the Iowa City Downtown District will create informational social media posts and videos about why it's important to get vaccinated and how people can sign up.

"We're reaching out to softball and baseball coaches, bartenders, baristas, business leaders and trying to get them to use their influence," Nolte said.

As of Friday morning, 34% of Johnson County residents over 16 were fully vaccinated.