April 7th was an important day in our fight against the pandemic. It was the day North Carolina began allowing any person age 16 and older, regardless of medical conditions or living situation, to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination as part of the Group 5 rollout. To date, North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services said 25% of the state's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 38% is at least partially vaccinated. Supply of the vaccine is finally growing and Gov. Cooper says soon, anyone who wants a shot will be able to get one. Unfortunately, there is a real fear that at some point soon the vaccine effort (and ultimate goal of herd immunity) may hit a serious roadblock. That is the point at which supply will outpace demand as many in the community are fearful of side effects or just downright unwilling to get the shot. This vaccine hesitancy may be a result of misinformation spread on social media outlets or simply a result of people needing more education on the limited risk and enormous benefits of the vaccine. Government officials say that they are going to be depending on trusted doctors, ministers, public figures and regular people to talk to their hesitant family and friends about the importance of getting vaccinated. This is where we can make a real difference. All of us in this association are insurance professionals with an obligation to advise our clients on health related matters. Acting together, I believe we can have a real impact on the community. Let's get out there and start promoting the benefits of the vaccine to our clients. Here is how you can make a difference: Get the shot yourself. We all have to lead by example. Personally, I received my 2nd shot of Pfizer this week with zero side effects. Discuss with your group clients the importance of promoting the vaccine to their employees and allowing them easy access (such as PTO) to get the shot. Reach out to your individual clients to answer their questions and encourage them to get vaccinated. Make information on the vaccine readily available to your clients on your website or through email campaigns. In my opinion, making this effort is not only the right thing to do, but good business practice too. As insurance professionals, we want a robust job market. We need companies to be healthy and growing in order to have capital to invest in benefit packages for their employees. We also need individuals to have enough money each pay period to invest in our products. The quicker our communities can reach herd immunity, the faster we can begin to normalize our market and livelihoods. Let's all get out there and give it our best shot!